IP theft is a problem that goes much deeper than buyers purchasing fake name-brand purses, shoes or football jerseys at a discount. This alone harms the U.S. economy and robs American workers of jobs. But profits from “knock-offs” also often support criminal organizations involved in weapons trafficking, drug smuggling and other illegal activities.
It’s estimated that American industries alone lose about $250 billion annually from these counterfeits. And that lost revenue also means lost American jobs, and lost local and federal taxes that weren’t paid on those goods.
The following four men were indicted July 9: Iain Nigel MacKellar, 58, of the United Kingdom; Lam Ngoc Tran, aka Mark Tran, 40, of Fountain Valley, California; Allen Smith, 49, of Phoenix; and William Humphreys, 58, of Laguna Hills, California.
Arunachalam Annamalai, 48, a resident of Las Vegas, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty to charges that he participated in the software piracy conspiracy. Annamalai is the owner and operator of Vegascart LLC.
The conference was hosted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Attaché Office in Mexico City, the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) and Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT).
The following individuals were charged in an eight-count indictment with importing and trafficking in counterfeit goods, smuggling, structuring and international money laundering: Andreina Becerra, 30, a Venezuelan national residing in Miami; Roberto Volpe, 33, an Italian national residing in Miami; Jianhua Li, 40, a Chinese national and resident of Guangzhou, China; Rosario La Marca, 52, an...
Andreina Becerra, 30, a Venezuelan national, and Roberto Volpe, 33, an Italian national, both of Miami; Jianhua Li, 40, a Chinese national and resident of Guangzhou, China; and Rosario La Marca, 52, an Italian national and resident of Italy, were accused in an eight-count indictment of importing and trafficking fake iPhones, iPads and iPods bearing counterfeit Apple trademarks and fake camcorders...
Stephen Voudouris, Sr., 59, from Newtown Square, Yung Chung, 31, from West Chester, and Jaimmy Chun, 30, from Philadelphia are charged with conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit goods and wire fraud. Voudouris, Sr. is also charged with smuggling counterfeit goods into the United States.
Martez Alando Gurley, 40, from Napa, California, admitted at his pre-arraignment hearing June 29 that he purchased 15,000 to 18,000 counterfeit Viagra and counterfeit Cialis tablets from an individual in China he knew as “Alice,” as well as an additional 3,600 to 4,800 tablets from another individual within the U.S.
The enforcement initiative, dubbed Operation Team Player, resulted in the seizure of 4,376 items, including fake jerseys, hats, t-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs. The $181,215 value is based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the counterfeit NHL merchandise.
Jeff Huang, 61, of Mount Prospect, Illinois, was arrested June 9 and charged with five counts of unauthorized use of a trademark, a class-one felony. He was placed on electronic monitoring during his bond hearing June 10 at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse.
The indictment resulted from a lengthy investigation titled “Operation Midnight Run” by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the New Jersey State Police - Interstate Theft North Unit and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice - Specialized Crimes Bureau.