Sentencing scheduled in counterfeit airbag case

WASHINGTON – A retired auto mechanic in Memphis, Tennessee faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to charges of trafficking counterfeit airbags and causing a dangerous item or forbidden explosive to be placed onto a commercial aircraft.

According to information presented in court, Mohammed Al-Abadi, 51, imported counterfeit motor vehicle airbag parts from China and assembled the parts to make counterfeit airbags. Al-Abadi then sold the fake airbags on eBay to unsuspecting automobile repair shops and individual customers for prices ranging from $100 to $725 each.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents – with assistance by Customs and Border Protection and United States Postal Inspection Service – intercepted a shipment of counterfeit airbag parts ordered by Al-Abadi. The investigation determined that Al-Abadi sold more than 500 counterfeit airbags and shipped at least one of them by air without proper hazardous material classifications, labeling, or packaging in violation of the Department of Transportation’s hazardous material regulations.

China has been identified as one of the largest exporters of counterfeit goods, including counterfeit airbags. In this case, agents recovered more than 2,000 counterfeit airbags and parts from Al-Abadi’s residence and place of business.

Al-Abadi is scheduled to be sentenced on June 11, 2024. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $2,000,000, and three years of supervised release.