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Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
06/10/2015

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Chicago-area business owner arrested for selling unlicensed sports merchandise

Chicago-area business owner arrested for selling unlicensed sports merchandise

COOK COUNTY, Ill. — The owner of a Chicago-area business was arrested on multiple felony charges after unlicensed merchandise featuring the trademarked logos of the Chicago Blackhawks and other sports teams were discovered being sold at his business.

These charges were announced Wednesday by Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart.  The charges resulted from a joint investigation conducted by Cook County Sheriff’s Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Jeff Huang, 61, of Mount Prospect, Illinois, was arrested June 9 and charged with five counts of unauthorized use of a trademark, a class-one felony. He was placed on electronic monitoring during his bond hearing June 10 at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse.

On June 9, investigators with the Sheriff’s Police Special Operations and HSI special agents executed a search warrant at Max International Trading Corp. in Elk Grove Village. At the location, investigators found more than 130,000 glass inserts used in lampshades featuring counterfeit team logos from the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL) and the Collegiate Licensing Company.

Several thousand of the glass inserts displayed counterfeit Chicago Blackhawks logos.

Investigators learned that Huang allegedly copied the sports logos and then sent the logos to China to have the logos affixed to the glass inserts. The investigation began after the NHL contacted HSI about the business selling unauthorized merchandise.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.

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 focuses not only on keeping counterfeit products off U.S. streets, but also on dismantling the criminal organizations behind this activity.

The HSI-led IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 23 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety and the U.S. economy.

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

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/11/2015