back to article The Italian Jobs: Bloke thrown in the cooler for touting Apple knockoffs

A scammer who imported fake iPods, iPads, iPhones, and Sony hardware worth $15m into America was today sent down for 37 months. Rosario La Marca, 54, of Naples, Italy, paid $1.1m to Chinese manufacturer Jianhua Li, 42, based in Hong Kong, in exchange for counterfeit electronics resembling Apple and Sony goods. US prosecutors …

  1. John Robson Silver badge

    I hope...

    ... that there is something more specific in the charge labelled "structuring financial transactions", or every accountant and treasurer, homeowner, car leaser or... well, everyone has done the above...

    1. Jim Mitchell

      Re: I hope...

      The "structuring financial transactions" relates to the "The sales money was funneled back to associates in Italy in batches of less than $10,000 to avoid alerting the tax authorities." The banks have to report transactions of $10,000 and over, not necessarily for "tax" reasons, but for money laundering detection. So noticing who is deliberately moving ~$9,999 around frequently is a good way to detect criminals, as the law abiding people aren't worried about the feds knowing, or even aware of the $10,000 line.

      See for an example of somebody who fell afoul of this.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: I hope...

        "Structuring Financial transactions" is based on the idea a legitimate business will have a cash deposit pattern and matching receipts to show large cash deposits are legitimate. The average person will have very irregular large deposits, maybe once every 5+ years. Money launderers will try to run largish amounts of money through accounts without legitimate sales to back them up and far too often for a normal person. If one tries to run amounts just under 10K often through your account it raises red flags as to why.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: I hope...

          €10,000 is the official limit in Europe but 5K will get you some attention if it is frequent and as little as little as 3K might get you on a list. That's why there are a lot of cars in Europe with loose head linings.

      2. ZenCoder

        Re: I hope...

        "law abiding people aren't worried about the feds knowing, or even aware of the $10,000 line."

        Law abiding businesses that handle cash have every reason to worry, because if the IRS decides your cash deposits look suspicious they can and will seize your assets without any warning or due process and they can and will maintain a death grip on those assets without filing legal charges.

        Here is one of the more recent cases, but you could easily identify hundreds more.

      3. kain preacher

        Re: I hope...

        After 9/11 the threshold was lowered to $5000. Nut thats to the FBI not to the IRS

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    37 months is not long enough

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whadda mistaka to maka!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, talk about a victimless crime.

    1. cb7

      Not really victimless

      If you bought one of these iFake devices thinking you were buying a genuine iPod/iPhone, then you are clearly a victim of fraud.

      1. keithpeter Silver badge

        Re: Not really victimless


        Agreed, but has any news org managed to find one of the fakes and give it a test/strip down?

        Can't have IoS or Apple firmware in it I'm presuming or there would be piracy on the charge sheet as well as fraud.

    2. Steve Graham

      You thought you were buying a cheap iPhone and got smething that wasn't an iPhone. It's almost like a public service.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Of course it is not a victimless crime. Won't you think of poor Apple and how much revenue they lost? Let alone poor IRS and HMRC who did not get the taxes from Apple because someone failed to pay ... oh wait, I'll stop there.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Super Mario Warez

    Why didn't he blow his magic whistle to move the money?

  6. Mike 16 Silver badge


    Or "Ghost Shift"? (Where a factory "accidentally" makes more of a product than the customer ordered, and "disposes" of them via trash haulers who for some reason have a landfill in another country).

  7. jelabarre59

    "Buyers of the counterfeit products were clued in to the possibility they were fakes when they started working *better* than the real thing..."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love Apple.

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