Man Gets Seven Years in Prison for Selling Over 7,000 Counterfeit Airbags
Update - October 13, 2013
Igor Borodin, 27, of Indian Trail, N.C. was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Charlotte to serve seven years in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release for trafficking in counterfeit airbags and for delivering the hazardous material (airbags) by air commerce, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Chief District Court Judge Frank D. Whitney also ordered Borodin to forfeit over 1,600 seized counterfeit airbags, $60,000 in cash, and a residence in Indian Trail. The defendant was also ordered to pay a total of $26,000 restitution to the 118 victims of the offenses who filed claims with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Airbags typically cost more than $700. Borodin, part owner of Krugger Auto in Charlotte, sold his for $150 on eBay, typically to mechanics or dealers who re-sell salvaged vehicles. Federal agents seized nearly 100 airbags from the business and more than 1,500 from Borodin's home in Indian Trail.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom O’Malley said counterfeit airbags in other cases have exploded and shot shrapnel on impact.
“We’re not talking about T-shirts, we’re not talking about shoes,” O’Malley said. “When people see that (manufacturer’s) mark on the steering wheel, they know that product has been tested and designed to protect their safety.
“All he cared about was how much money could he make. He didn’t care one iota about the people behind the wheel.”
"It does appear you were the No. 1 distributor in the country of counterfeit airbags," said U. S. District Judge Frank Whitney.
Prosecutors say they may never know how many of the counterfeit airbags have been placed in salvaged vehicles.
"My client is an example of the American dream gone bad by dealing with Chinese manufacturers."