Two New York City businessmen have pleaded guilty in a scheme to distribute more than 500,000 tubes of counterfeit toothpaste imported from China.
Fifty-one-year-old Saifoulaye Diallo and 47-year-old Habib Bah each face up to 10 years in prison after entering their pleas Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn.
Prosecutors said the fake Colgate toothpaste was shipped to discount stores across the United States. They said it had no fluoride and contained microorganisms that posed health threats, but no illnesses have been reported.
The counterfeit Colgate toothpaste had a retail value of $730,000. Its packaging looked real but had spelling and grammatical errors.
The Colgate-Palmolive Co. launched a nationwide inspection to identify and remove the knockoff tubes from store shelves.