Man charged with counterfeiting at flea market wants Second Chance

One of four people arrested last spring on charges of selling counterfeit designer purses and other goods at the Kane County Flea Market hopes to enter the county’s program for first-time, nonviolent offenders, his attorney said.

Ying Fu, 47, of the 1600 block of West 35th Street, Chicago, is charged with Violating the Counterfeit Trademark Act, a felony that carries a top prison term of seven years if convicted, with probation also an option.

Justin Sather, Fu’s defense attorney, said his client and family are trying to raise $15,000, which is the minimum statutory fine for the felony charges, in order to be accepted into Kane’s Second Chance Program.

Sather said prosecutors want Fu to pay the fine up front before considering his admission into the program, which gives offenders a chance to wipe their record clean if they say out of trouble for a year and complete community service.

“He’s got no (criminal) history whatsoever,” Sather said of Fu, who is a Chinese national here on a visa. “He speaks almost zero English. He had no idea what was going on. He was told to sell this stuff.”

Acting on a tip, St. Charles police arrested Fu and three others May 1, 2011, at Kane County Fairgrounds and charged them with selling fake designer purses, sunglasses and other item from three booths. Authorities also confiscated about 5,000 counterfeit items after obtaining a search warrant.

Jin Qu, 50, of the 4100 block of Artesian Avenue, Chicago, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, was fined nearly $1,800, and served 75 days in jail. He also faced deportation.

Two Elgin residents, who are divorced, also are due in court Friday: Armila Santarromana, 48, of the 300 block of Weymouth Avenue, and Roberto Santarromana, 49, of the 400 block of Fremont Street.

Darryl Goldberg, who is Armila Santarromana’s attorney, declined to comment. Rodger Clark, who is Roberto Santarromana’s attorney, also had no comment.

Fu is due in Kane County court March 15 and is free while his case is pending after posting $5,000 bond.

If Fu is not accepted in the program, Sather said he might go to trial and argue that Fu didn’t intend to sell the counterfeit items.

“I don’t think this guy could tell you what a real Coach purse looks like and what a fake Coach purse looks like,” Sather said.

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