April 8, 2011 |
The massive Long Beach warehouse is as well stocked as any big-box discount store, filled with brand-new electronics, designer jeans, famous-label handbags and toys. And cigarettes. Cartons and cartons of them, seemingly enough to supply a small kingdom. There are no shoppers, however. All of the goods in this 500,000-square-foot warehouse were seized by federal agents — mostly counterfeits, along with banned items such as elephant ivory and drug paraphernalia. Smuggling is on the rise, with seizures by U.S. Customs and Border Protection up 35% in fiscal year 2010 from 2009.
December 5, 2010 |
Here's a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Payday loan scheme ? Scammers have been making threatening telephone calls to urge victims to make payments on loans that did not exist, the Internet Crime Complaint Center cautioned in a recent notice. The callers contact people at home, at work and on their mobile telephones, demanding repayment for allegedly past-due loans. In many cases, the callers have personal information about their targets, including dates of birth, Social Security numbers and bank account numbers.
June 23, 2010 |
The Obama administration unveiled a government-wide strategy Tuesday to crack down on piracy and counterfeit goods, adding more than 50 FBI agents this year to tackle intellectual property abuses. With the ubiquity of the Internet, online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods on the Web are growing rapidly across a range of industries, including entertainment, software and pharmaceutical markets. Vice President Joe Biden, who announced the new program, said that the problem costs Americans jobs and that counterfeit goods threaten lives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2009 |
In the season of giving, authorities have come up with a way to help the homeless through items they have confiscated: Hand out about 10,000 pairs of counterfeit athletic shoes. The shoes, which include knockoff Nike and Adidas sneakers minus the labels, were seized for trademark infringement by the Los Angeles Police Department's anti-piracy unit. The LAPD, working in conjunction with the Los Angeles city attorney's office, plans to distribute sneakers Monday to 1,800 residents at the Union Rescue Mission downtown.
July 26, 2009 |
A few years ago, if you wanted a faux Louis Vuitton bag that could pass for the real deal, all you had to do was mosey down Santee Alley -- L.A.'s bustling ground zero for counterfeit fashion -- and pick one up. Amid the cheesy "Louis Wuitton" and "Channel" satchels, there were always a few fabulous impostors, usually positioned behind or just under the front register.
July 26, 2009 |
There's a postage stamp-sized place in Paris' 16th arrondissement that houses a collection of luxury goods that would be the envy of any upscale boutique. Louis Vuitton monogram-covered handbags and wallets crowd shelves with Hermes scarves and ties, and shoes by the likes of Burberry and J.M. Weston. Well-dressed mannequins wear suits from YSL and Versace, and polo shirts by Lacoste. Rows of designer sunglasses and high-end perfumes sit neatly in glass cases, carefully labeled in French.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 24, 2008 |
Retailers are having a tough time this holiday season because of the recession, but stores in downtown L.A.'s Santee Alley got a bit of help over the weekend from police raids that led to the arrests of 28 people for making and selling knockoff goods. Police seized $2.7 million in counterfeit items bearing names such as Air Jordan, Ed Hardy, Coach and Sony in the weekend raids, resulting in the second-largest take of knockoffs in Los Angeles County history, officials said Tuesday.
August 22, 2007 |
Seizures of counterfeit imports at the nation's trade gateways rose by 22% in number -- and by 141% in value -- during the first half of fiscal year 2007, federal officials said Tuesday. Authorities said the flood of bogus goods illustrates how some exporters to the U.S. are increasingly ripping off the intellectual property rights of legitimate manufacturers. "There is $5 trillion to $5.
March 17, 2006 |
A bill creating tougher penalties for counterfeiting goods was signed into law Thursday by President Bush. The law "protects the hard work of American innovators," the president said. "Counterfeiting undercuts honest competition, rewards illegal competition." Manufacturers lose an estimated $200 billion a year from counterfeit products, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
September 22, 2005 |
The United States is sending teams of experts into countries known for piracy and counterfeit goods to combat intellectual property theft, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez said. The groups of experts on intellectual property rights will operate in Brazil, China, India, Russia and elsewhere. They are expected to follow up and monitor cases as well as have daily contact with officials in those countries.