Kenmore nail salon owner sold contraband cigarettes

The owner of a Kenmore nail salon has been sentenced to prison for importing and selling hundreds of thousands of counterfeit cigarettes.

According to court records, a federal investigation revealed that Han Bui, the owner of Lovely Nails and Beauty Salon, and her husband, were the top importers of contraband cigarettes from Vietnam. The U.S. Attorney in Seattle said that the cigarettes were sold under familiar U.S. brand names, but manufactured in Vietnam and that Bui and her husband paid no taxes.

Bui pleaded guilty in February to trafficking in counterfeit cigarettes.

The U.S. Attorney asked for a 2 year prison sentence. Because the cigarettes were being sold outside legal, regulated channels, they were "ending up in the hands of minors at disproportionately high rates," wrote prosecutors in their sentencing recommendation.

A federal judge in Seattle sentenced Bui to 18 months in prison, $250,000 in taxes and penalties and forfeiture of more than $100,000 in cash and a Lexus seized during a search of their home in July 2011.

Tim Haeck, KIRO Radio Reporter
Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.
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