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Counterfeit

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 1985
It should be fairly well known that in our affluent society there are many counterfeit products on the market such as designer jeans, wristwatches, toys and tapes. Still we choose to purchase these illegal items because of price or prestige in the "name brand" label. Now a government agency functions to investigate these violations and, if the counterfeiters are caught, large fines and imprisonment are imposed. This is as it should be. The above products are not life-threatening, and many consumers will say, "So what?"
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
The Los Angeles city attorney's office Wednesday hailed a $3.96-million judgment and permanent injunction against a downtown merchant as the largest judgment the city has secured in a counterfeiting case. Maria Luisa Sanchez committed 1,586 trademark violations over at least the last five years, and sold counterfeit clothing, jewelry, handbags and other items at different storefronts, the city attorney's office said. She was fined $2,500 for each of the 1,586 counterfeit items that she sold or had for sale.
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WORLD
January 21, 2010 | By John M. Glionna
Sex shop owner Wang Yunsu wondered how so many competitors could suddenly undercut her low prophylactic prices. Now she thinks she knows: The other condoms are counterfeit. "Some manufacturers are cutting corners," she said, stocking a shelf with a domestic brand whose name translates as Forever Love. "And it's all about profit." It's China's latest knockoff scandal -- inferior contraceptives that health officials say provide little protection and may in fact spread infectious diseases, tarnishing the axiom that condoms mean safe sex. In November, investigators in Hunan province provided details about a July raid on an underground workshop where they found laborers lubricating condoms with vegetable oil in unsterile conditions, passing off the counterfeits as high-quality-brand products.
NATIONAL
December 18, 2013 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - He was the onetime golden boy of the Los Angeles wine scene, but Rudy Kurniawan's life as a high-profile collector of rare vintages ended Wednesday when a jury convicted him of fraud for operating a fake wine factory and selling counterfeit wines to fund his lavish lifestyle. Some of the wines Kurniawan sold privately or at auctions fetched more than $5,000 per bottle. But wine experts said Kurniawan's victims went far beyond a few very rich collectors and that his actions cast a cloud over the entire wine world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2013 | By Bryce Alderton
Two Laguna Beach men have been arrested on suspicion of selling counterfeit artwork, Laguna Beach police said Thursday. Vincent Lopreto, 48, and Ronald Bell, 49, are accused of selling fake artwork that they claimed was by Damien Hirst, an English-born artist who has exhibited throughout the world, online and through auction houses. Both men are accused of first-degree identity theft and operating a scheme to defraud. They are being held at the Orange County jail awaiting extradition to New York, where the investigation began.
BUSINESS
January 4, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
About a week before Christmas, I took a stroll around the Los Angeles Toy District and bought a pirated DVD. As I wrote on Dec. 21, curious about the quality of the merchandise for sale on the street, I shelled out five bucks for a copy of the movie "District 9," which was still days away from being available in your local retail store. As I've been informed, quite properly, by readers in and around the movie industry, that casual act made me part of a global problem that is killing jobs and eliminating opportunities for creative people everywhere.
BUSINESS
May 4, 1989 | From Reuters
Fakes of goods ranging from Cartier watches to heart drugs are getting more convincing, costing firms around the world a fortune, according to an independent British business magazine. Director magazine said packaging and quality of counterfeits are now of such a high standard that customers find it virtually impossible to distinguish them from the real thing. "Counterfeit goods are now being produced and sold on an epidemic scale and are costing firms hundreds of millions of pounds (dollars)
BUSINESS
July 5, 2010 | Cyndia Zwahlen
Funny money is no joke for small-business owners. Counterfeit cash cuts into profits at firms, many of which are already struggling in the tight economy, and puts pressure on prices. The fake bills can be hard to spot with an untrained eye, and sophisticated digital printers have made it easier for criminals to create higher-quality bad bills, faster. And the problem appears to be growing. The Secret Service, which is in charge of investigating and preventing counterfeiting, said it helped remove from circulation more than $182 million in fake U.S. currency in the fiscal year that ended Sept.
WORLD
December 24, 2008 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Ten tons of chocolate bonbons could stuff a lot of stockings, but instead they will be under the lock and key of French customs agents. The customs service announced that officers at the giant Rungis international market outside Paris seized nearly 33,000 boxes of gold-foil-wrapped morsels, worth an estimated $312,000, on suspicion that they were counterfeit Ferrero Rochers. The counterfeit sweets are to be destroyed.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
EBay Inc. won a German court ruling in a case brought by Rolex Group over sales of counterfeit watches on EBay's website. The decision in Dusseldorf found that Rolex couldn't show that any similar counterfeit goods were offered on EBay after the company had been alerted to the sales. EBay faces a hearing next month in London on similar claims by L'Oreal. EBay has had mixed success in cases over counterfeits, winning last year against Tiffany & Co. and L'Oreal. It lost to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Hermes International.
NATIONAL
December 18, 2013 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK - Wine expert Michael Egan eyed the six bottles of purported 1966 Montrachet sitting at the front of the courtroom. "They wouldn't look out of place in the urology department at Mt. Sinai," Egan said as he noted the cloudy liquid's sickly ocher cast. And they probably wouldn't taste much better than a specimen, according to Egan and other aficionados who testified this week in the fraud trial of Rudy Kurniawan, a onetime boy wonder of the wine world who once enjoyed an enthusiastic following in Los Angeles for his sophisticated palate and eye-popping collection of exquisite reds and whites.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
German police have arrested two people suspected of illegally generating Bitcoins worth nearly $1 million. Bitcoins are an unregulated, virtual currency that is stored in password-protected electronic "wallets" and used to make purchases on the Internet and at some brick-and-mortar businesses. The currency also is traded in online exchanges, where its value fluctuates widely. Prosecutors in the German town of Kempten said they are investigating whether people used software to create digital Bitcoins worth 700,000 euros, about $950,000, Bloomberg News reported.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2013 | By Bryce Alderton
Two Laguna Beach men have been arrested on suspicion of selling counterfeit artwork, Laguna Beach police said Thursday. Vincent Lopreto, 48, and Ronald Bell, 49, are accused of selling fake artwork that they claimed was by Damien Hirst, an English-born artist who has exhibited throughout the world, online and through auction houses. Both men are accused of first-degree identity theft and operating a scheme to defraud. They are being held at the Orange County jail awaiting extradition to New York, where the investigation began.
BUSINESS
May 6, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
Pfizer Inc. will begin selling its popular erectile dysfunction pill Viagra to patients on its website, in an unusual move to combat counterfeit drugs. It's a novel strategy because drug-makers rarely sell medicines directly to patients, but analysts say rivals will be watching the experiment closely. Men will still need a prescription to get the little blue pills delivered to their home, but they won't have to deal with a pharmacist in the store. Online pharmacies have proliferated in recent years, hawking fake versions of Viagra and other brand-name drugs at ultra-low prices and with no prescription needed.
SCIENCE
April 24, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
A device that reveals counterfeit drugs in the hands of Food & Drug Administration agents is set to become the newest weapon in the worldwide effort to eradicate malaria, and may soon be used to detect useless look-alikes of drugs that combat cancer, heart disease and viral infections. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on Wednesday unveiled an initiative aimed at putting simple handheld versions of the FDA device into the hands of public health field workers in Ghana to help root out counterfeit malaria drugs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2013 | By Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times
Federal authorities have seized 1,500 counterfeit Hermes handbags from China at the Port of Los Angeles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday. Genuine Hermes leather bags retail for thousands of dollars apiece. The two shipments, discovered Feb. 12 and Feb. 26, would be worth as much as $14 million if sold at full price, the customs agency said. Importing counterfeit purses and wallets has been on the rise, with a 142% increase in the value of goods seized in 2012 compared with the previous year, the agency said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 1994
I was very disappointed to learn that the major reason the MTA is discontinuing its monthly bus passes is due to the number of counterfeit ones that have been circulating. Woe to the society that succumbs to its small criminal element over the vast majority of hard-working people who rely on public transportation to get them to their jobs! Rather than making public transportation easier and more accessible to the people in this age of traffic and air pollution, we are taking a giant step backward as we let the lawbreakers have the last word.
OPINION
March 10, 1991
This should be the least of our worries these days, but I was angered to see you refer to the country of Burma as Myanmar in your article (Part A, Feb. 24) on the Thai coup. This term is sponsored by the State Law and Order Restoration Committee, the butchers who murdered thousands two years ago, suppressed popularly elected officials and ruthlessly eliminated all dissent. To follow their lead and abandon the name Burma is in a related sense an abandonment of the brave and long-suffering Burmese and minority people.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2013 | By Mary Macvean, Los Angeles Times
Lincoln's Grave Robbers Steve Sheinkin Scholastic Press: 224 pp., $16.99, ages 10 and up Steven Spielberg's movie "Lincoln" is not for every child, and Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" is not even for every adult, but at a time when Abraham Lincoln's role in U.S. history is on the public mind again, there's a new book about the 16th president to capture children's gleefully ghoulish imagination. "Lincoln's Grave Robbers" by Steve Sheinkin is terrific. It's history in context and full of fun and thrills: money real and phony, bumbling criminals, a beloved president, and lawmen who go to all lengths to protect his body in its resting place.
BUSINESS
November 27, 2012 | By Shan Li
Federal authorities seized 132 domain names and arrested one man in an international effort to stop the sale of counterfeit goods during the online shopping day called Cyber Monday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, working with Europol and police in several countries including the United Kingdom and Denmark, targeted sites that sold knock off goods such as DVDs, perfume and even jerseys. Authorities also arrested and charged Gary Hammer with trafficking counterfeit goods.
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