LAPD’S OLYMPIC VICE UNIT HITS BIG

The LAPD’s Olympic Vice Unit is a very aggressive group of officers when it comes to attacking counterfeiting and piracy cases. They are constantly on the lookout for counterfeiting cases. They recently wrapped up a case of a retail location in their area selling counterfeit merchandise and recovered over $ 300,000.00 worth of counterfeit merchandise.

The case started when investigators were tipped off by a couple brand owners, who received anonymous letters stating that the location was selling large quantities of counterfeit merchandise. An undercover investigator was assigned to the case to investigate. The undercover traveled to the location and observed that a very small quantity of counterfeit merchandise was displayed in the location.

The undercover felt that there was more going on at the location than met with eye. The undercover made multiple visits to the location and bought a few items during each visit. Well, it finally paid off when the owner of the location finally trusted the investigator and believed that he was a “great customer” and invited the investigator to the back room.

The back room was full of all types of counterfeit merchandise. Counterfeiters are being more and more careful because of the great work of law enforcement attacking these cases. We have learned that you can’t always get the evidence you need on the first visit and it may take multiple attempts to really figure out what is happening.

IP Crimes have been getting more attention in the recent years and this has truly caused us to have to work a little harder to make cases happen. The subject in this case has been charged with felony trademark counterfeiting.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

19TH STREET SURENO GANG MEMBER ARRESTED

The Mission District of San Francisco, California has been terrorized by members of Surenos gangs for the past several years. The gangsters are up to their normal activities, such as drug dealing, stealing cars and robbing people. It appears that they have now also turned to selling counterfeit goods.

This gangster decided to make a few quick bucks by selling counterfeit merchandise through Craigslist. Little did he know that he was selling his counterfeit goods to undercover investigators. He also made the huge mistake of selling his merchandise in the city of Dublin.

The members of Dublin Police Services are very proactive in pursuing the sellers of counterfeit goods. So, when they heard of the gangster’s activity, they jumped right on the case! The subject agreed to deliver additional counterfeit goods to the undercover.

When he arrived to make his sale, law enforcement was there to greet him with a pair of handcuffs. He was arrested for felony trademark counterfeiting. The trend of gang members using the sales of counterfeit merchandise to raise money for themselves continues and is definitely a growing trend.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

INTERNET SALES CAN BE VERY LUCRATIVE

We once again learned how lucrative internet sales can be when the Inglewood Police Department served a search warrant on a seller of counterfeit headphones. The subject was doing what so many counterfeiters are now doing; he posted ads on Craigslist and waited for the calls to roll in.

Boy did the calls roll in. The subject was operating a very brisk business selling the bogus headphones. When he would run low on stock, he would place his next order from China and wait a few days for his new load to arrive.

The Inglewood PD served the warrant at the subject’s home and recovered a large quantity of the counterfeit headphones, along with a large amount of cash. The counterfeit business is a great business to be in, if you want to make a lot of money and face little risk of going to jail.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

1.3 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF COUNTERFEIT GOODS RECOVERED

HSI’s Commercial Fraud Group in San Diego, California and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office just wrapped up a case on a major distributor of counterfeit goods in the San Diego area. The investigation lead to the recovery of over 1.3 million dollars worth of counterfeit clothing, handbags, sunglasses and numerous other items.

HSI spearheaded the investigation that lead to the huge recovery. It was very clear that the counterfeiters were not really focused on selling quality counterfeits. Several of the items recovered were very poor quality and contained numerous misspellings.

The investigation, which took several months culminated with the arrest of two subjects, who have now been convicted of felony trademark counterfeiting charges. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the subject. The San Diego District Attorney’s Office has been very active in prosecuting these cases.

This case is another great example of federal and state agencies working together to combat intellectual property crimes.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants

YARD SALE LEADS TO ARREST

If you are selling counterfeit goods, it is probably not a very good idea to advertise that you are having a yard sale at your home selling fake handbags. Well, that is exactly what this suspect decided to do. Unfortunately for her, The Dublin PD was hot on her trail.

Undercover purchases were made from the subject and a large order was made for additional counterfeit items. Officers arranged for the suspect to deliver the goods to them. When she showed up for her big sale, she was quickly arrested.

Law enforcement served a warrant at her home and recovered additional counterfeit merchandise. We never said all counterfeiters were smart crooks. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and Dublin PD have increased their enforcement in the area and done an outstanding job addressing the counterfeiters.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants