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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index
    Release No. 09-077

    June 22, 2009

    GARMENT DISTRICT WHOLESALER RECEIVES TWO AND A HALF YEAR PRISON TERM FOR TRAFFICKING IN DESIGNER GOODS

    Search of defendant's business turned up thousands of counterfeit handbags, shoes, and other apparel

    A Southern California wholesaler received a 30-month federal prison term for criminal trademark infringement charges, in a sentence imposed by United States District Judge James V. Selna.

    Mohammed Siddiquee, 32, of Los Angeles operated Sitara Enterprises in the garment district of Los Angeles.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents conducted undercover purchases of counterfeit handbags from Siddiquee and also observed Siddiquee directing an employee to affix a counterfeited patch to a handbag. 

    In October 2008, ICE agents executed a federal search warrant at Siddiquee’s business and seized more than 10,000 items, including counterfeit handbags, scarves, hats, shoes, and other apparel, all bearing designer trademarks, such as Chanel, Coach, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Gucci, as well as patches, emblems, and hangtags bearing counterfeit names and insignia for Coach, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and other counterfeit trademarks.

    "The trafficking of counterfeit goods is a global enterprise that robs legitimate companies of billions of dollars in revenues every year," said Robert Schoch, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Los Angeles.  "What's more, these sales generate profits that often go to support other types of criminal activity so no one should ever consider this a victimless crime."

    This case is the product of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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    Release No. 09-077
    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index