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October 13, 2015Dallas, TX, United StatesIntellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

North Texas man admits role in counterfeit goods trafficking conspiracy

DALLAS — A North Texas man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to his role in a conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is investigating this case.

Evan Patterson, 31, from Grand Prairie, Texas, remains on bond after he pleaded guilty Oct. 13 to one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods.  He faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for Feb. 16 before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay.

According to documents filed in the case, from about January 2010 through December 2013, Patterson and a co-defendant conspired together to knowingly and intentionally traffic in goods they knew bore counterfeit marks.  The marks on these goods were spurious and identical, or indistinguishable from trademarks registered for those goods in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Patterson and his co-defendant imported and sold clothing, apparel, and accessories manufactured by unauthorized suppliers in China that replicated the authentic brand-name goods bearing the counterfeit marks of the following trademarks:  Nike, Ugg, Beats, Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Carolina Herrera, New Era, Oakley, Michael Kors, North Face, National Football League, Coach, Gucci, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Ray Ban, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Vera Wang, White Diamonds, Tory Burch, Armani, True Religion, Rolex, Lacoste, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes and Louis Vuitton.

Patterson and his co-defendant displayed and sold the counterfeit goods to customers at a showroom and warehouse located on W. Pioneer Parkway in Grand Prairie.  They also established and maintained at least 17 websites where customers could order and pay for the goods online.  Orders for the goods were directed to suppliers in China, who then shipped the items directly to customers in the U.S.

On June 6, 2013, Patterson sold an undercover federal agent one Louis Vuitton handbag, one Louis Vuitton wallet, one Michael Kors handbag, one Buffalo Bills jersey, one Dallas Cowboys jersey, and one Texas Rangers jersey, all bearing counterfeit marks, for a total of $200.

In November 2013, HSI special agents, executed a federal search warrant at the showroom and seized about 750 counterfeit items, including sports jerseys, Nike sports shoes, Ugg boots, and designer handbags, wallets, belts, watches, sunglasses and perfumes, all bearing counterfeit trademarks.  Industry representatives confirmed the seized items were counterfeit and the combined estimated Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) was $200,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Stokes is prosecuting this case.