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Feds Snooker Counterfeiters in NJ
As details of the recent massive counterfeiting ring bust in New Jersey begin to emerge, a lot of us are finding ourselves picking our jaws up off the floor. Over a lengthy investigation initiated nearly four years ago, authorities have found that two separate, but overlapping, criminal enterprises spanned the Pacific Ocean and a handful of states to smuggle knockoff shoes and apparel to sell to American consumers.
From the cool half-billion dollars in copyrighted works that the U.S. Justice Department says Megaupload stole, to this New Jersey-by-way-of-China bust of $325 million in fake goods, the issue is ringing in with astounding clarity: IP theft comes with a staggering price tag.
We’ve said it before, intellectual property theft of all forms and sizes is not victimless and is a very real and costly problem. Counterfeiting undermines trusted brands, it undermines consumers, and it undermines our economic growth.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman agrees. “The cost of counterfeit goods is not limited to the massive financial harm it causes to American businesses and consumers… The same channels and criminal networks that allow the entry of these goods provides the opportunity for the importation of other materials that threaten our health and safety.’’
Just think, our U.S. dollars from our very own pockets were in route to help fund a foreign criminal organization that was allegedly connected to identity theft, narcotics trafficking, and money laundering.
Thanks to a single tip to the FBI’s IPR Center, our enforcement professionals were able to shutter one of the biggest counterfeiting enterprises ever uncovered.