FBI: phony auto parts ring busted - New York News

FBI: phony auto parts ring busted

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New York City taxi companies were among the unsuspecting victims of a knock-off auto parts ring busted by the FBI, said officials.

The agency said three people were arrested after searches in Queens and New Jersey related to the probe.

The counterfeit parts included brakes that were installed in taxis, said agents.

"While it is not generally against the law to sell replicas or imitations, it is illegal to try to pass them off as authentic or original," FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said. "Likewise, there is a legitimate market for aftermarket auto parts, 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."

Shashi Malhotra, 67, of Norwood, New Jersey; Fadi Kilani, 28, of Englewood, New Jersey; and Richard Dininni, 57, of Easton, Pennsylvania, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, the FBI said.

The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers issued a statement on the bust:

"We are instructing bases, fleets, drivers, auto mechanic shops to recall any and all repairs or parts that were purchased from R&Y auto parts in Astoria, Queens because they might be counterfeit."

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