Detroit woman receives fine, probation for selling counterfeit airbags

By Land Line staff | 5/27/2015

A Detroit woman with connections to an auto dealership has been sentenced to probation and must pay a fine after pleading guilty to one felony count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General.

The defendant, Samar Ayoub, will receive 36 months’ probation and must pay a $5,100 fine for trafficking in counterfeit Honda airbags, the release stated. Ayoub was sentenced on May 14 in U.S. District Court in Detroit. She had previously pleaded guilty to the charge in November 2014.

An investigation by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents revealed that Ayoub, and her brother-in-law, Hussein Jomaa, manager of Eagle Auto Sales in Detroit, “intentionally trafficked goods they knew bore counterfeit and trademark infringing marks, which were identical to and substantially indistinguishable from genuine parts,” the release stated.

Ayoub illegally caused what she knew were counterfeit automobile airbags to be imported, without properly declaring them as hazardous materials, into the United States purporting that they were genuine airbags of American Honda Motor Co. Inc. Additionally, Ayoub advertised and sold counterfeit Honda-branded airbags and airbag parts over the Internet to customers in more than 20 states throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico, the release stated.

The investigation also revealed that Jomaa knowingly purchased counterfeit automotive parts purporting that they were genuine Honda parts. In particular, Jomaa knowingly purchased counterfeit Honda-branded airbags, airbag covers, “H” logo emblems, and center wheel caps from various sources, including Ayoub. Jomaa, using Eagle Auto Sales, illegally caused to be exported to Africa over 85 salvaged and/or used Honda vehicles that contained counterfeit and trademark infringing Honda automobile parts, the release stated. The loss related to their criminal conduct was stipulated to be $60,000 for Ayoub and $40,000 for Jomaa. Further, during National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the counterfeit airbags failed, sending shrapnel and flames from hot gas into the test dummies.

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