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Intellectual Property Rights

Louisiana man sentenced for trafficking counterfeit New Orleans Saints jerseys

NEW ORLEANS - Bakir Rajkotwala, a/k/a "Bakir", 50, of Kenner, La., was sentenced today to six months of incarceration, three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment for trafficking counterfeit merchandise, following an investigation conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Lance Africk for the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

According to court documents, Rajkotwala owns Big Easy Gifts, located at 710 South Peters St. in New Orleans.

On Oct. 27, 2010, ICE HSI special agents confiscated approximately 58 counterfeit "NFL" Reebok Saints Jerseys. The value of the seized items was approximately $3,480.

"The creation, smuggling and sale of counterfeit goods are not victimless crimes," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of ICE HSI in New Orleans. "Products that are produced and sold illegally do harm to trademark holders, may be smuggled into the country and distributed by organized crime groups and then sold to the detriment of local businesses and communities who derive no financial gain from the illegal sales. ICE HSI is committed to an aggressive approach towards enforcing the nation's intellectual property rights laws."

Rajkotwala will be deported to his native Pakistan after the completion of his sentence.

The case was investigated by ICE HSI and FBI agents. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Scott Laragy.