“This was a well-funded operation, and the counterfeits looked very authentic,” said Ron Boyd, chief of the approximately 200-member L.A. Port Police force, adding that a buyer might not have noticed anything awry until he or she got home and tried to hook up with iTunes.
Police believe the fakes were shipped in from China as replacement parts then reassembled them. The two brothers arrested and charged with felony counts for the sale of counterfeit goods in charge of the operation may have thought they could fly under the radar with older-model fakes, still in demand by some consumers. (Personal aside: I still have both of those iPod Nano models and am clinging to them because of the storage, battery life and light weight.)
During the course of the investigation, police found bank account receipts that indicate the operation had already generated more than $7 million in profits.
iPhoneys, easily found on the market in Apple’s home state of California and authorities seem to have a hard time stemming the tide. The last big bust was at San Francisco airport, where customs officers seized a shipment of 2,000 fake iPhones in spring 2010.