3 plead guilty in case of Native American jewelry knockoffs

PHOENIX (AP) — Federal prosecutors say two retailers and a third person face up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in a conspiracy to import jewelry knockoffs made from the Philippines and then misrepresent the goods as made in the United States by Native Americans.

Laura Marye Wesley, 32, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District court in Phoenix to conspiracy, wire fraud and other charges while Waleed Sarrar, 44, and Christian Coxon, 46, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, prosecutors said.

Wesley admitted having jewelry made in the Philippines and then arranging to have it smuggled into the United States and delivered to retail outlets in multiple states, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

Sarrar misrepresented imported jewelry as made by Native Americans at his store in Scottsdale, Arizona, while Coxon made similar false claims involving his store in San Antonio, Texas, the statement said.

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