How often have you been invited by a street vendor to buy designer perfume, clothes or other merchandise at deep discount prices? Chances are good that those bargain basement goods are counterfeit and you may be surprised to learn that they are also illegal. Almost everyone knows that counterfeiting money is a crime, but that is not the only type of counterfeiting that concerns federal agents. Federal law not only punishes counterfeiting money, the Lanham Act also punishes counterfeiting goods. A Pennsylvania retailer has found this out the hard way.
A Pennsylvania sports memorabilia dealer has pleaded guilty in Federal court to charges of selling counterfeit goods and weapons charges. Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raided the defendant's store, The Sports Scene, in June. During the raid, they discovered more than 400 unlicensed NFL, MLB and NHL jerseys and more than 800 unlicensed sports photographs.
ICE agents also discovered a Marlin rifle and a Remington shotgun in the defendant's possession. State and federal law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms, and the defendant had a 2002 conviction for felony mail fraud.
The counterfeit goods charge carried a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and $2 million in fines. The felon in possession of a firearm charge carried a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In a plea deal, the defendant pleaded guilty to both charges with a proposed sentence of 18 months in prison, three years of supervised release, plus an undisclosed amount in fines, court costs and restitution. Final sentencing is scheduled for February 2, 2011.
Source: StandardSpeaker.com: Sports Scene owner pleads guilty to sale of counterfeit goods; Mia Light, 11/2/2010
Source: US Federal News: Sports Memorabilia Dealer Pleads Guilty in Federal Court, 11/2/2010 (Retrieved via Westlaw)