CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Union County man accused of selling thousands of counterfeit airbags has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Prosecutors say Igor Borodin sold more than 7,000 airbags on eBay that he obtained from Chinese manufacturers.
Borodin, 27, pleaded guilty last October to trafficking in counterfeit airbags and delivering hazardous materials for air transportation.
Prosecutors say they may never know how many of the counterfeit airbags have been placed in salvaged Hondas and Toyotas.
Prosecutors say Borodin made nearly $2 million in the scheme, much of which went to manufacturers in China. Prosecutors say those airbags contained sub-standard materials.
In addition, Borodin failed to properly display warnings on the bags before they were shipped from China, warning those handling the shipments about the dangers of explosives, which are used to trigger the bags.
"All he cared about was how much money could he make. He didn't care one iota about the people behind the wheel," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom O'Malley
Borodin was part-owner of Krugger Auto in Charlotte. Federal agents seized nearly 100 airbags from the business and more than 1,500 from Borodin's home in Indian Trail.
Airbags typically cost more than $700. Borodin sold his for $150 on eBay, typically to mechanics or dealers who re-sell salvaged vehicles.
"It does appear you were the No. 1 distributor in the country of counterfeit airbags," said U. S. District Judge Frank Whitney.
Borodin also was ordered to pay $26,000 in restitution to the 118 victims of the offenses who filed claims with the U.S. attorney's office.