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Intellectual Property Rights

Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to trafficking in counterfeit professional sports apparel

PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to trafficking in counterfeit professional sports apparel and accessory items. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Robert E. Fairman, 48, of Glenolden, Pa., was indicted on June 30, 2011. The investigation revealed he was in possession of over 2,200 counterfeit sports apparel and accessory items valued at more than $500,000 based upon the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).

"HSI is committed to ensuring the legitimate copyright holders are protected from individuals who are only motivated by greed," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "People and organizations which produce and sell counterfeit products undermine the U.S. economy and jeopardize public safety."

If convicted, Fairman faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a three year period of supervised release and a $2 million fine.

The ICE HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. As a task force, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 19 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 the war fighters.

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