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COMMUNITY NEWS: Central

DOWNTOWN : Garment Factory Owner Sentenced

March 13, 1994|IRIS YOKOI

A local garment factory owner will serve 80 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine after pleading no contest to a charge of manufacturing knockoffs of the Karl Kani and Cross Colours denim clothing lines.

Song Suk Park, 51, owner of Victory Fashions at 425 West 11th St., pleaded no contest in Los Angeles Municipal Court Monday to one misdemeanor count of counterfeiting a trademark. She must complete the community service and reimburse the city for its investigation by September.

Additionally, the roughly $200,000 worth of fake designer clothing seized from Victory Fashions in June will be donated to charities and nonprofit groups.

Meanwhile, Municipal Court Commissioner Barry Kohn placed Victory Fashions' manager, Manuel Enrique Sagastume, who is also charged with one count of counterfeiting a trademark, on a six-month diversion program. If Sagastume, 36, obeys all laws during that period, the court will dismiss the case against him.

Sagastume is a resident of the Wilshire district, and 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.

Park and Sagastume were charged after an employee of Threads 4 Life, until this month the parent company of Karl Kani and Cross Colours, stumbled on the counterfeit operation at Victory Fashions 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 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 ready for shipment to Chicago, said Darryl Phillips, special agent for the Department of Justice's trademark infringement unit.

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

Threads 4 Life was forced to sell all of its manufacturing operations this month to cope with mounting financial difficulties.

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