Department of Homeland Security Agents bust State Fair counterfeit booth

While vendors are selling merchandise at the New Mexico state fair, one vendor was arrested after being accused of selling counterfeit goods.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Agents were observed seizing multiple boxes with fake designer jewelry, sunglasses cases and wallets among others items.

“We’re seeing an increase in counterfeit goods in all the states,” said Kevin Abar, an assistant DHS agent in New Mexico.

 

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Counterfeit goods hurt legitimate retailers and the local economy

Over the weekend, U.S. customs agents say they seized two million dollars worth of counterfeit items at an Elmore County flea market.

Elmore County’s Santuck Flea Market is open for business on the first Saturday of every month, with vendors selling everything from area rugs to electronics. But the Flea Market was just the site of a federal raid, with more than 100 agents confiscating what they say were counterfeit goods. Some say they’re pleased with the big bust.

“These retail stores, it’s taking away from businesses and also cuts jobs because if you’re not going into the retail store to buy things then people are not going to have jobs,” says Montgomery resident Felicia Rose.

“Every dollar that goes toward counterfeit merchandise is a dollar that’s essentially stolen from legitimate vendors,” says Cox. “They pay taxes, they employ workers and they support the overall healthy economy.”

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Fashion designers rely on patents to deter knock-offs

Design companies tending to the details of fashion shows have more to think about than skirt lengths and handbag clasps — they must decide whether to seek U.S. patent protection for their looks.

Diane von Furstenberg, famous for her wrap dresses, has a design patent on a chain mail-style bag. The popular French line Celine has one on the envelope-style handbag sported by countless fashion experts at New York Fashion Week.

This summer alone, brands including Alexander Wang, Balenciaga and Tod’s all were granted design patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on accessory designs, records show.

Because U.S. copyright and trademark laws often do not apply to new, logo-free designs, designers are applying for design patents to protect clothing and accessories from being targets for knockoffs, industry attorneys said.

 

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More arrests are expected in a conspiracy case against a New York art dealer suspected of selling millions of dollars in counterfeit paintings.

More arrests were planned in the criminal case against a New York art dealer accused of peddling counterfeit art for 15 years as the undiscovered works of famous artists including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, a prosecutor said Monday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hernandez made the disclosure at the arraignment of Glafira Rosales, 57, of Sands Point, on Long Island. Rosales, standing beside her lawyer, pleaded not guilty to a superseding indictment that accused her of engaging in the scam from 1994 through 2009.

U.S. District Judge Katherine P. Failla asked Hernandez whether more arrests were planned and he said there were. As for the case against Rosales, he said it would likely be resolved without trial by the end of this month or next.

Glafira Rosales, an art dealer, was arrested for filing false tax returns and for failing to disclose a foreign bank account to the IRS. Rosales allegedly failed to report the receipt of at least $12.5 million in income from the sale of works purported to be by celebrated abstract expressionist artists. Most of the income was received in a bank account in Spain that Rosales hid from, and failed to disclose to, the IRS. She was arrested in Sands Point, New York, this morning and will be presented in Manhattan federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “As alleged, Glafira Rosales gave new meaning to the phrase ‘artful dodger’ by avoiding taxes on millions of dollars in income from dealing in fake artworks for fake clients. Her arrest shows that no matter how clever the scheme, attempts to hide income from the government to avoid paying taxes on that income will be discovered and prosecuted.”

IRS Special Agent in Charge Toni Weirauch said, “The sale of a piece of art for profit is a taxable event, and the seller is responsible for paying his or her fair share of tax, even if the art is counterfeit. The allegations in this investigation illustrate a ‘double-barreled’ tax evasion scheme: disguising who was actually selling the art and profiting from the sales, through the creation of a fictitious seller and the use of the name of a collector not associated with the transactions, and further concealing the proceeds by depositing them in an unreported foreign bank account.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said, “As alleged, Glafira Rosales committed tax fraud in falsely reporting that she was selling art on behalf of clients. In truth, those clients were just part of the picture she painted to perpetrate her multi-million-dollar scheme. There is consistency in the scheme, however: the artwork Rosales sold appears to be as fake as her story about the clients she claimed to represent.”

According to the allegations in the complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

In the 1990s, Rosales, an art dealer, began selling previously unknown paintings that had never been exhibited before and that she claimed were painted by some of the most famous artists of the 20th century, including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning. From 2006 through 2008, Rosales sold approximately one dozen of these paintings to two prominent Manhattan galleries for over $14 million.

 

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Counterfeit Semiconductors Intended for Use on Nuclear Submarines

Peter Picone, 40, of Methuen, Mass., has been charged with importing counterfeit semiconductors from China for sale in the United States.

“Counterfeit semiconductors pose a serious health and safety risk to consumers and end-users, and an even greater threat to the safety of the men and women of our armed services when they are sold for use in the military,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Daly.  “We will prosecute these types of cases to the fullest extent of the law.”

 

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Flea market operator held contributorially liable for trademark infringement by vendors?

Plaintiffs brought suit under the Lanham Act, alleging a flea market operator is liable for sales of counterfeit products at his flea market. The district court granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on liability, entered judgment on the jury’s damages verdict of $5,040,000, and awarded attorney’s fees and costs to plaintiffs in the amount of $186,666.61. Defendant argues on appeal that the Lanham Act does not provide for contributory liability for trademark infringement by third persons and that this is not an “exceptional case” warranting attorney’s fees. Because we find the district court neither erred as a matter of law nor abused its discretion, we affirm.

An interesting read. Read more…http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-6th-circuit/1633091.html

Counterfeit Goods financing Terrorist Organizations

Top Interpol official Richard Noble told the House International Relations Committee that groups like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are making money in trafficking consumer goods like fake Nike sneakers, Sony stereo equipment and Calvin Klein jeans, products that can be bought and sold on any street in America.

Federal and local authorities executed warrants targeting counterfeit merchandise.

Orange County, Homeland Security Investigations seized more than $200,000 worth of goods, working with police in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, along with other agencies, targeting retailers suspected of selling fake goods, according to a statement issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

 

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Online infringement and counterfeits pose a great risk to American jobs and the economy.

Members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committee got together on Capitol Hill to speak about the continuing harm online infringement and counterfeits pose to American jobs and the economy. According to estimates, intellectual property theft costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion every year, and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs.

 

Theft of American Intellectual Property not only robs those in the creative chain of adequate compensation, but it also stunts potential for economic growth, cheats our communities out of good paying jobs, and threatens future American innovation.

 

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Counterfeit Products and Organized Crime

Most law enforcement agencies tend to turn a blind eye to the counterfeit goods being sold in the United States.  They simply take no enforcement action against the criminal organizations behind this activity. They say they don’t have the manpower or the backing of their agency to go after such minor issues.

This is not a minor issue.  The people who manufacture counterfeit goods are in it for one reason. GREED.  The money invested by Organized Crime, to manufacture, smuggle, and sell counterfeit goods is one of the safest ways to quickly generate more income.  MORE MONEY TO FINANCE THEIR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES.

The fact that they use child or slave labor to manufacture these goods simply decreases their expenses.  Every dollar you spend to buy counterfeit goods promotes such activities. Don’t be mislead or fool yourself into believing the money goes to these children or those pressed into slave labor.  The profits go right back to the criminals promoting further illegal activities. They could care less that the items of clothing and fashion are substandard and not flame retardant.  If the glasses they smuggle are not 
shatterproof, why should they care.  They are not stupid enough to buy or use them.

They manufacture counterfeit pharmaceuticals that are so much cheaper through the internet or the flea markets.  Many of them contain ingredients that are not on the label, include too little or none of the ingredients found in the real product, and can be dangerous.

Counterfeit automotive and aviation parts have been responsible for endangering our families, our military personnel, and other innocent parties.

Counterfeit cigarettes are flooding the market and are filled with harmful products, more than your genuine brands.

The next time you are tempted to save some money and buy a counterfeit item, whether it be a CD, a DVD, clothing, car parts, electronics, eyewear, medicine, or anything else, remember you are supporting the criminal element in your community.

Report those who are selling counterfeit goods to local law enforcement, the FBI and ICE.  Demand that they take appropriate action. Take time to commend those agencies that understand that this is a growing problem in our community.  Thank them for making time to  fight crime at every level.

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Read more on U.S. Customs news releases on counterfeit seizures.

 

10 Most Counterfeited Products Sold in America