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DOWNTOWN : Warrant Sought in Fake Garment Case

January 09, 1994|IRIS YOKOI

An arrest warrant is expected to be issued for the owner of a garment factory who did not show up in court last week to respond to charges of manufacturing illegal knockoffs of the Karl Kani and Cross Colours denim clothing lines.

After Song Suk Park failed to show Monday for her arraignment in Los Angeles Municipal Court, Deputy City Atty. Fay Chu asked a judge to issue an arrest warrant for Park, 51, owner of Victory Fashions at 425 W. 11th St.

Park and Victory Fashions manager Manuel Enrique Sagastume, 36, are charged with one count each of counterfeiting a trademark.

Sagastume entered a not guilty plea Monday and was ordered to return to court Jan. 31 for pretrial proceedings. He will be represented by a public defender.

If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, each would face a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Sagastume is a resident of the Wilshire district; Park, who is also known as Son Suk Knepley, Song Suk Yoon and Song Suk Kim, has homes in Cerritos and central Los Angeles, city prosecutors said.

The case against Victory Fashions was built after an employee of Threads 4 Life, the Los Angeles company that owns the Karl Kani and Cross Colours trademarks, stumbled onto the alleged counterfeit operation during a visit to another business in the same 11th Street building, city prosecutors said.

Threads 4 Life officials complained to the state Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation, which searched Victory Fashions on June 16 and found 1,508 counterfeit Karl Kani pants and a number of Karl Kani and Cross Colours rivets, labels, buttons and zippers, according to prosecutors.

The clothing, worth $227,000, was in boxes and ready for shipment to Chicago, said Darryl Phillips, special agent for the Department of Justice's trademark infringement unit in Los Angeles.

The baggy Karl Kani pants, which sell for about $80, and the multicolored Cross Colours street-style clothing, which average about $55 per item, are particularly popular among youths.

Victory Fashions is one of more than a dozen Los Angeles manufacturers being criminally prosecuted or sued in civil court by Threads 4 Life.

Carl Jones, president and CEO of Threads 4 Life, said illegal knockoffs account for losses in the millions of dollars for his company and its vendors.

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