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LITTLE ROCK STORE OWNER INDICTED FOR SELLING COUNTERFEIT GOODS

February 2, 2011

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced that Yura Kim Thornell, age 54, of Little Rock, Arkansas was indicted today by a federal grand jury on a 42-Count Indictment. Thornell, dba Kim’s Fashions, was charged with intentionally trafficking in counterfeit goods.

The indictment stems from an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted by the Little Rock Police Department and an independent expert in counterfeit marks. The investigation spanned from sometime in July 2009 through late in June 2010 during which undercover buys were made of counterfeit products from Kim’s Fashions which is located in Southwest Little Rock. As a result of the initial undercover buys by law enforcement, cease and desist letters were sent to the store from the bona fide company advising that specific counterfeit goods should not be sold. Thereafter, law enforcement continued periodic surveillance of the store during which time counterfeit goods continued to be sold. Because counterfeit items continued to be sold, a search warrant was obtained by Homeland Security Investigations from a federal magistrate which was executed at the store on June 28, 2010. At that time, HSI agents and local law enforcement searched the store finding and seizing over $140,000 worth of clothing with approximately 16 different counterfeit marks such as Polo, Nike, Ed Hardy, etc. The indictment seeks forfeiture of the counterfeit clothing which was seized during the execution of the search warrant.

The maximum statutory penalty for trafficking in counterfeit goods is not more than 10 years incarceration and/or $2,000,000 fine with three (3) years supervised release.

This investigation was conducted by agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the Little Rock Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Angela Jegley.

An indictment contains only allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Christopher R. Thyer

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