March 31, 2012 |
Southern California designer jeans maker True Religion Apparel Inc. has won a $864-million court judgment against online Chinese counterfeiters, but actually getting that money will be a battle. The Vernon company, whose jeans can go for nearly $500, sued 282 websites originating from China and accused them of lifting company trademarks and peddling fake goods. The websites had names such as TrueReligion4Cheap.com and ForTrueReligionJeans.com. The defendants were a no-show in court, so the New York federal judge handed down a default judgment this month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2012 |
A Los Angeles-area wine collector who became so influential in the rare vintage market that he drove up prices worldwide has been charged by federal authorities with fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in loans and attempting to sell $1.3 million in counterfeit French Burgundy. Rudy Kurniawan, 35, was arrested Thursday without incident at his Arcadia home by FBI agents assigned to the Los Angeles office after a years-long investigation by the FBI Art Crime Team. In an indictment unsealed Thursday, the Indonesian national was charged by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan with three counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud.
March 5, 2012 |
More than two dozen people were charged in a $325-million counterfeit ring to import knockoffs from China and Taiwan through a port in New Jersey, authorities said. Using undercover agents and wiretaps, federal law enforcement agencies uncovered "two elaborate schemes" to elude border security and transport counterfeit apparel, accessories, cigarettes and illegal drugs into the Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, the U.S. district attorney's office in New Jersey said in a statement.
February 13, 2012 |
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Counterfeit luxury items Bargain hunters should take extreme care when shopping for discounted brand-name merchandise on the Internet, the Better Business Bureau said in a recent bulletin. Websites such as Craigslist and EBay have been used to sell counterfeit items, the BBB said. Plus, some firms have set up their own websites to market knockoff luxury goods, which often are of poor quality and likely to disappoint buyers, the group said.
February 12, 2012 |
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Counterfeit luxury items - Bargain hunters should take extreme care when shopping for discounted brand-name merchandise on the Internet, the Better Business Bureau said in a recent bulletin. Websites such as Craigslist and EBay have been used to sell counterfeit items, the BBB said. But some firms have also set up their own websites to market knockoff luxury goods, which are often of poor quality and likely to disappoint the consumer, the group said.
February 3, 2012 |
Mirabelle Vargas, 29, winds her way through the open-air stalls in downtown Los Angeles' bustling Santee Alley, hunting for Victoria's Secret underwear. Or at least undies with a tag that says Victoria's Secret. An authentic pair from the lingerie maker can cost $7.50 and up. But Vargas, a retail sales clerk, managed to find a table brimming with pink-and-white unmentionables. Price: two bucks a pop. "Of course they're not real, not at this price," said Vargas, decked out in a chocolate brown Victoria's Secret tracksuit, also counterfeit.
January 14, 2012 |
The lamb chops were cooked to perfection. Fine wines flowed. Then came the piece de resistance: a 1997 Chateau Petrus Pomerol that can fetch about $2,000 a bottle. Wine consultant Frankie Zhao was dining with a group of well-to-do Chinese businessmen at an exclusive private club in the capital. Their host was eager to share — and show off — the prized French Merlot. But after the first sip, veteran taster Zhao knew the collector had been duped. "I could tell immediately it was a fake," said Zhao, who kept silent rather than embarrass his unwitting friend.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2011 |
U.S. Customs officials said Monday that they caught someone trying to import counterfeit and unsafe lighting fixtures depicting Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. The holiday decorations were seized at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex between Nov. 23 and 25 in two shipments from China and had an estimated retail value of $173,000. The lighting displays had phony Underwriters Laboratories product safety certification labels and had not undergone the rigorous scrutiny required by the organization.
December 1, 2011 |
Crime-fighting canine McGruff the Crime Dog is looking to take a bite out of counterfeiting. The talking cartoon dog, sporting his trademark trench coat, is part of a new anti-counterfeiting campaign by the nonprofit National Crime Prevention Council and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, which is part of the Justice Department. The campaign seeks to dispel any notion that counterfeiting is a victimless crime. "It costs the U.S. economy tens of billions of dollars each year, deprives people of their livelihoods, encourages criminal activities by gangs and organized crime groups, and sometimes results in serious illness or injury," the campaign Web page said.
November 29, 2011 |
Federal authorities have seized 150 Web domain names they said were used to traffic counterfeit brand-name merchandise. The website seizures targeted the illegal sales of counterfeit products, including professional sports jerseys, golf equipment, DVDs, shoes, handbags and sunglasses, authorities said Monday. Visitors to the sites now find a banner that says the domain name has been seized by federal authorities and that copyright infringement is a federal crime. During the investigation, federal law enforcement agents made undercover purchases of products from online retailers, officials said.