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Intellectual Property Rights

Former downtown mall shop owner indicted for selling counterfeit goods

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A former Sacramento retailer is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court here Friday afternoon following his arrest on charges of trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Cem Kiyak, 42, of Roseville, Calif., is charged in an indictment handed down June 30 that remained sealed until his arrest Friday morning. According to the indictment, Kiyak operated three stores or kiosks at the Westfield Downtown Mall in Sacramento. Kiyak sold jewelry, apparel, accessories, and other goods to which counterfeit marks had been applied, including labels for Chanel, Juicy Couture, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Armani, and other brand name designers and manufacturers.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd A. Pickles with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California.

"Intellectual property theft amounts to economic sabotage," said Dan Lane, assistant special agent in charge for ICE HSI in Sacramento. "The reality is, retailers who sell counterfeit products and consumers who buy them are essentially stealing. They're robbing from law abiding merchants and from the legitimate companies that manufacture these items. What's more, counterfeiters don't put a premium on product quality or safety, which is why we say buyer beware."

If convicted, Kiyak faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the federal sentencing guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

In fiscal year 2010, ICE HSI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection intellectual property rights enforcement efforts led to nearly 20,000 seizures, a 34 percent increase compared to the previous year. The seized goods had a total value of $1.4 billion, based upon the manufacturer's suggested retail price had the products been legitimate.

For more information, visit www.ice.gov.