A businessman from Brooklyn, New York, has now been sentenced to 18 months in prison and a fine of 15,000 US dollars (around 12,400 euros) for his role in the manufacturing and trade of counterfeits. In addition to the criminal proceedings, the convict also entered into a civil settlement agreement, under which he paid 348,000 US dollars (approx. 288,000 euros). This has now been reported in a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
The convicted businessman had organized the production of counterfeit clothing and equipment in China and Pakistan, according to the release. To do so, he had joined forces with a co-defendant. The counterfeiters used samples of original clothing and equipment as templates in their illicit production, according to the court documents. Before mass manufacturing of the counterfeits began, he provided his accomplice with pre-production samples of the counterfeits for approval and sent related photos via email. After some adjustments, he finally initiated production of the counterfeits and received 10.9 million US dollars (about 9 million euros) from the co-defendant for this. The counterfeits were then imported into the USA and sold to the U.S. military, among others.
Counterfeited items for example included FREE® hoods, which were falsely declared as non-flammable, as well as Multicam® APEC parkas of the U.S. Armed Forces, which were missing an important technology designed to make it difficult to detect the wearer with night vision equipment. In order to import the counterfeits into America without being detected by U.S. Customs, the Chinese manufacturing facilities were instructed exactly on how to package the items – and that removable “Made in China” stickers should be applied to the goods.
In the case of the co-defendant, a verdict is expected by early May 2021. He has already admitted in court that among the counterfeits were 200 military parkas of the type used by Army personnel deployed in Afghanistan, which were intentionally mislabeled as Multicam® parkas. A second accomplice is also alleged to have sold counterfeit uniforms and equipment to the U.S. military; he faces charges including conspiracy to commit fraud and trafficking in counterfeits.