Close to $1M in Counterfeit Memory Chips Discovered in Karaoke Machine Shipment at Long Beach Port

1:30pm | Customs officials at the Port of Long Beach intercepted a shipment of almost $1 million worth of counterfeit memory chips stashed inside nearly 2,000 karaoke machines, officials said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Thursday that the 1,932 karaoke machines arrived May 16 in a container from China, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The fake SanDisk memory chips reportedly have an estimated value of $852,368.

The 1,932 karaoke machines arrived May 16 in a container from China and contained fake SanDisk portable memory chips with an estimated value of $852,368, said agency spokesman Jaime Ruiz.

SanDisk was contacted to inspect the chips for authenticity. Officials reportedly said they were subsequently destroyed after the company confirmed that they were counterfeit.

"We have an ongoing commitment that is focused toward intercepting shipments containing merchandise in violation of protected trademarks before they reach the consumer," CBP Acting Director Carlos Martel told the Times.

Officials did not reveal the identity of the importer or the extent of the penalties the importer is facing.Trademark law violators are subject to civil penalties as well as criminal prosecution. 

How customs agents were able to determine that the machines might be phonies was also not disclosed.

The agency reportedly broke their record for trade seizures during the 2010 fiscal year, seizing 863 trade shipments with an estimated value of more than $34 million. The 2010 seizure rate was up by 42 percent compared to seizures in 2009, according to the Times.

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