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Intellectual Property Rights
02/03/2012

HSI Tampa seizes more than $1 million worth of counterfeit goods

Items seized from individual previously indicted for trafficking in counterfeit goods

TAMPA, Fla. – Nearly $1.2 million of counterfeit goods were seized by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents Wednesday.

HSI special agents seized 5,512 items, including purses, wallets, scarves and perfumes from a van and an office located on the 1400 block of East Fletcher Avenue in Tampa. The seized items fraudulently feature trademarks of companies such as Coach, Chanel, Tory Burch, Armani, Burberry and more. The items have a manufacturers' suggested retail price of $1,189,130.

The items belonged to Jin Zheng, 39, a naturalized U.S. citizen from China. Zheng was previously arrested and indicted for trafficking in these counterfeit goods.

"Intellectual property theft is a crime that hurts legitimate business and is often tied to other types of criminal activities in our area," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa.

As the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, HSI plays a leading role in targeting criminal organizations responsible for producing, smuggling and distributing counterfeit products.

HSI manages the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center in Washington. The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. As a task force, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 20 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.