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Police accuse 2 of importing counterfeit sport jerseys

Authorities have reportedly accused a father and son from Pennsylvania of selling counterfeit sport jerseys bought in China. Their indictment alleges that the men imported more than $8,500 worth of jerseys from manufacturers in China between August 2007 and July 2014. While both could potentially face prison, sources say that the elder of the two could face a harsher penalty because he has also been charged with smuggling.

The jerseys allegedly appeared identical to those of the sports teams they sought to emulate, including those of the National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball. However, authorities say that in 2010, one of the men requested that the Chinese manufacturers be more diligent in their work because customers had begun complaining about imperfections in the jerseys.

Although the men were allegedly aware of federal investigation into their activities, they continued to sell their merchandise clandestinely, according to an email allegedly sent to a customer in June 2011. On July 1 of this year, the men reportedly sold counterfeit baseball jerseys to undercover law enforcement personnel in Bensalem and were taken into custody at the scene. They have been charged with conspiracy to traffic in and illegally import counterfeit sports jerseys.

Cases such as this that involve conspiracy charges sometimes revolve around establishing the intent of the accused to commit a crime. If intent is not established, it may be possible to have the charges reduced to a lesser offense or even dismissed. However, even in cases where conviction seems unavoidable, it may nevertheless be possible to weaken the charges and their associated penalties through various mitigation tactics. Someone in a comparable situation may wish to consult their case with an attorney to review their options and work to develop a viable defense.

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, "Father and son charged with illegally importing counterfeit sports jerseys", Jeff Blumenthal, September 05, 2014

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