Peter Picone, 42, of Methuen, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty on June 3, 2014, to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit military goods. In addition to his prison term, Picone must pay $352,076 in restitution to the 31 companies whose circuitry he counterfeited, and to forfeit $70,050 and 12,960 counterfeit integrated circuits.
Leaders from law-enforcement agencies around the world attended the Interpol-led global meeting to discuss negative impacts of counterfeiting, emerging trends in IP theft and best practices to enforce trademark and copyright regulations.
Octavio Cesar Sana, a Spanish national with legal U.S. residency, admitted in a plea agreement that he sold at least $3.2 million worth of Chinese-made counterfeit cell phone parts through businesses he operated since 2007—including a website called “Flexqueen.com.”
Personnel from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection gathered this week to receive key training in the prevention of textile trade fraud that threatens the U.S. economy, restricts the competitiveness of U.S. industry and endangers the health and safety of the American public.
Rateb Said Najjar, 60, and his son, Eyad Rateb Najjar, 36, both of Westminster, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit trademark counterfeiting; one felony count of trademark counterfeiting; one felony count of conspiracy to commit money laundering; one felony count of money laundering; and sentencing enhancements given the value of the goods involved.
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...