Three charged in counterfeit parts scam

News Jason Cannon February 21, 2013

Three parts suppliers have been indicted on charges of selling counterfeit replacement parts, officials announced Thursday.

Shashi Malhotra, Fadi Kilani, and Richard Dininni were each arrested at their homes early Wednesday. Malhotra and Kilani will be presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein this afternoon. Dininni will be presented in federal court in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

“As alleged, these defendants sold the…replacement parts equivalent of designer knock-offs but represented to their unsuspecting customers that they were buying the name brand,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says. “And while their replacement parts may have been no different from many other generic parts sold every day in the aftermarket, they were able to command the same higher prices charged by the automobile manufacturers’ whose names they stole.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos says is not generally against the law to sell replicas or imitations, but the three men are charged with attempting to pass the parts off as authentic or original.

“Likewise, there is a legitimate market for aftermarket auto parts,” he adds, “but these defendants allegedly packaged parts to appear to be original manufacturer equipment and sold them as such. That isn’t legitimate; it’s fraud.”

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