Nearly a dozen sentenced for fake infant formula

A company was fined four million yuan, and 11 individuals were sentenced to imprisonment of between three and 15 years, for illegally producing and selling fake infant formula.

A company was fined four million yuan and 11 people were sentenced to jail time of between three and 15 years for illegally producing and selling fake infant formula under the popular brands of “Beingmate” and “Similac”, the Shanghai No.3 Intermediate People’s Court said today.

The court said the Jingu packing factory in Jining City of Shandong Province, and five defendants, Chen Mingjiang, Gu Chuansheng, Panxingbing, Wu Lingjie and Tang Jinghong, had conspired to pack and sell unqualified products as qualified infant formula under the brands of “Beingmate” and “Similac”, in order to seek illegal benefits.

Another four defendants, Zheng Honggui, Zhu Quanqin, Wu Yongjun and Cai Yonggao, had helped make the cans and trademark labels for illegal profit, despite the fact that they were aware they were making and selling fake products in the name of the popular brands, it said.

Another two defendants, surnamed Du and Li, had helped sell the fake products for illegal profits, while fully aware they were fake, it added.

The court found the factory and defendants had received sales revenue ranging from 560,000 to 3.6 million yuan, while the Jingu factory, Chen, Gu, Pan and Tang were principal culprits.

The court eventually ruled that the Jingu factory had committed the crime of producing and selling fake products and imposed a fine of four million yuan.

For the same crime, Chen, Gu and Pan were sentenced to 15 years in jail and fines ranging from 550,000 to 700,000 yuan for the same crime, while Tang, Wu, Zheng, Zhu, Wu and Cai were sentenced to between four and seven years in prison and fines from 50,000 to 300,000 yuan, according to the verdict.

Du was sentenced to seven years in jail and a fine of 400,000 yuan, while Li received imprisonment of three years with a suspension of four years, as well as a fine of 100,000 yuan for selling fake products.

The court heard that defendants Chen and Pan had started the network in August 2014, when they founded Jingu and ordered 40,000 cans with fake Beingmate trademarks. They filled 9,000 cans with cheap domestic formula, which they sold for 1.61 million yuan.

The network started to fabricate Similac trademarks from April 2015, having made more than 20,000 fake Similac cans and fabricated 30,000 labels, said prosecutors, adding that the cans were transported to Jining and Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, for filling.

The suspects were found to have sold about 13,994 cans for just under 2 million yuan, prosecutors said.

The gang's activities were discovered after Abbott Laboratories, which owns the Similac brand, reported to Shanghai police in September 2015 that fake products were circulating in the market.

Accused of making and selling the fake products, they stood trial in March.

Ti Gong / Ti Gong
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