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Intellectual Property Crime and Trade Fraud

Intellectual Property Crime and Trade Fraud

Intellectual Property Crime and Trade Fraud

Protecting intellectual property and combating illicit trade practices

Intellectual Property Crime

HSI is a key player in the U.S. government’s fight to prevent intellectual property (IP) crime and actively investigates the illicit importation of goods and pirated content that violate the copyrights and trademarks of rights holders. HSI prioritizes its IP investigations to address the most egregious criminal schemes that threaten the economic and national security of the United States and the health and safety of the public.

HSI leads nine national IP enforcement operations that focus investigative efforts on IP fraud and violations related to pharmaceuticals; health and beauty products; pirated copyright content; tobacco; automotive, aerospace and heavy industry components; consumer electronics; sports apparel and equipment; and the protection of the U.S. government and Department of Defense supply chains.

Trade Fraud

Every year, trillions of dollars in goods are imported into the United States. Unfortunately, not all of that is done in accordance with U.S. law. Those seeking to gain an upper hand through fraudulent or illegal trade practices are investigated by special agents with HSI.

HSI conducts general trade fraud investigations that focus on violations of laws or regulations pertaining to the importation of merchandise by means of false or fraudulent documents, statements and/or practices. The most common violations relate to the evasion of trade controls and restrictions enacted to protect domestic industries and the national economy from predatory trade practices and the introduction of goods which may create a public health and safety risk. These fraud schemes include falsifying the true value or country of origin of imported goods, misclassifying goods to evade duties, and customs brokers failing to comply with import laws.


Homeland Security Investigations

Investigating cross border criminal activity


National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center)


National IPR Coordination Center



Upholding Fairness in Global Trade

Investigating intellectual property crime, trade fraud & export violations

Updated: 08/17/2022