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Intellectual Property Rights

HSI, local partners arrest man for selling counterfeit products at Maryland auction site

CRUMPTON, Md. – Special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and detectives of the Criminal Investigations Unit of the Queen Anne's County Office of the Sheriff arrested a Pennsylvania resident for selling counterfeit goods on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Kim Bok Yong, 60, of Villanova, Pa., was arrested Aug. 29 after HSI special agents discovered that Yong was selling counterfeit purses and handbags at a weekly auction in Crumpton, Md. On Aug. 29, HSI special agents with detectives of the Criminal Investigations Unit of the Queen Anne's County Office of the Sheriff observed Yong at the Crumpton auction with a display of clothing, purses and handbags for sale.

The joint investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately 52 suspected counterfeit purses and handbags as well as numerous labels, tags, tools, and 47 unmarked purses and handbags used to manufacture counterfeit purses and handbags. The estimated value of the seized counterfeit items was $24,700, and the seized labels have an estimated manufacturer's retail price in excess of $150,000 when attached to the items.

Yong was charged with two counts of trademark counterfeiting of goods valued in excess of $1,000 for the attempted sale and manufacture of counterfeit items. After being processed at the sheriff's headquarters, Yong was taken before the District Court Commissioner who released him on his own recognizance. The investigation also resulted in the seizure of a 2006 GMC van.

This investigation was supported by the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center in Washington. The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting (piracy). As a task force, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21-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 our war fighters. For more information on the IPR Center please visit www.IPRCenter.gov.

HSI encourages the public to report intellectual property rights violations and related information by calling at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by visiting www.ICE.gov/tips. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.