July 17, 2008

U.S. Chamber Commends Federal Authorities for Successful Prosecution of Major Counterfeiting Case

Chamber-initiated Investigation Led to Conviction and Sentencing

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today commended the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the successful prosecution of Iyad Dogmosh, a Jordanian national residing in the U.S. illegally, who pled guilty to selling counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs. Earlier today, in a Baltimore federal court, Dogmosh was sentenced to four years in prison, after which he will be subject to deportation proceedings.

“The U.S. Chamber applauds the work of DOJ, FDA and ICE, who worked with us to dismantle this dangerous counterfeiting operation and see this investigation through to its successful conclusion,” said Caroline Joiner, vice president of the Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center. “In doing so, they have demonstrated the effectiveness of government and private sector cooperation to protect consumers and the reputations of trusted brands.”
The sentencing marks the culmination of a collaborative effort between the federal government and the Chamber, whose anti-counterfeiting and piracy investigative team initially uncovered the illicit operation and referred it to DOJ and ICE officials. The investigation and subsequent prosecution was carried out by Matthew J. Bassiur, a federal prosecutor in DOJ’s Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section; Paul Tiao, the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland; Special Agent Edward Kenney from the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation in New York; Special Agent Jason J. Laguna from ICE’s New York office; and Special Agent Jon Marsicano from ICE’s Baltimore office.

Counterfeiting and piracy are a global epidemic which cost the U.S. economy $250 billion annually and have led to the loss of more than 750,000 jobs, while endangering public health and safety. Among the most commonly counterfeited and pirated products are fake prescription drugs, defective medical devices, faulty electrical appliances, batteries, machine tools, pirated software and consumer products, such as apparel and personal hygiene products.

“This is another startling example of how our nation’s safety, economy and security are at risk with the illegal use of intellectual property,” added Joiner. “It also underscores the need to solidify the government’s long-term commitment to safeguarding IP.”

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion IP as a vital engine of global development, growth, and human progress. The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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