Authorities Bust Up Bridgeview Counterfeit Air Bag Scheme

Authorities find 21 counterfeit airbags from China at Bridgeview auto shop after owner had them shipped to friend's address, Sheriff Tom Dart says.

Stanislaw Godenk, 31, of Hickory Hills, was charged with a felony count of counterfeit trademarks.
Stanislaw Godenk, 31, of Hickory Hills, was charged with a felony count of counterfeit trademarks.

Two men were arrested in connection with a counterfeit airbag scheme after Cook County Sheriff’s police seized at least two dozen counterfeit air bags from China at a Bridgeview auto diagnostics center.

Stanislaw Godenk, 31, of Hickory Hills, was charged with a felony count of counterfeit trademarks after the fake air bags were found on the premises of his business, Sheriff Tom Dart said in a news release.

Grzegorz Lepkowski, 37, who purportedly had the shipments of the Chinese pirated brand-name air bags shipped to his Elmwood Park home, was charged with misdemeanor counterfeit trademarks.

The alleged scheme began to unravel on Feb. 7, when Sheriff’s Police and special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations visited Lepkowski’s home in the 7900 block of West Lenora Lane in Elmwood Park.

Sheriff’s Police said that U.S. Customs and Border Protection had seized another shipment of counterfeit air bags from China earlier in the week that used  Lepkowski's residence for the shipping address. 

Investigators learned that Lepkowski had allegedly ordered the air bags for his friend, Stanislaw Godenk.

Godenk had been warned by U.S. Customs agents on three prior occasions of feds seizing shipments of counterfeit air bags from China being shipped to his business, G7 Auto Diagnostics, located in the 7200 block of 90th Place in Bridgeview.

A search of Godenk’s business turned up 31 air bags, of which 24 were alleged to be counterfeit, Sheriff's Police said.

The air bags were for Honda, Mazda, Ford, Lexus, Toyota, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen vehicles.

Godenk appeared Saturday in bond court at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building and was released on his own recognizance.

The fake air bags are potentially dangerous, as they show consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies.

The highway safety organization further advises the public to always work with their auto dealers and repair professionals to ensure they use the appropriate parts and equipment when replacing airbags.

Vehicle owners concerned they may have a counterfeit airbag installed in their car, can visit the NHTS website for more information. 

Dan February 14, 2014 at 08:03 AM
deport hi, now !!!!!!
Dan February 14, 2014 at 08:04 AM
him, sorry.
Dirk Diggler February 14, 2014 at 10:51 AM
Who writes/proofreads these articles? Can't even spell the guys last name correctly. Also in one sentance it says "21 were seized" and later in the article "more than two dozen". Last time I checked that would be 24+.
Dan Czerwonka February 14, 2014 at 02:29 PM
We need to save these guys ! Take to the streets protest ! First a couple of guys for nothing then walgreens for selling drugs what's next ???
Liz February 15, 2014 at 09:52 AM
The fact of the matter is that it occurred and they are reporting on it. They gave the name of the business so that unsuspecting customers can know that their lives and that of their families can be protected. The difference between an airbag going off or not can mean life or death.


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