United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Three Indicted In Sacramento For Counterfeit DVD Trafficking
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, July 30, 2012
Docket #: 2:12-cr-250-KJM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a 23-count indictment charging Xavier Johnson, 31, formerly of Elk Grove, Kristin Caldwell, 30, and William Brown, 28, both of Elk Grove, with wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to the indictment, from 2008 to 2011 the defendants imported DVDs containing counterfeit copies of children’s movies and marketed them over the Internet. The defendants falsely advertised to have located a limited supply of scarce Disney DVDs that were otherwise unavailable for purchase. In reality, they were importing thousands of bootleg copies of the movies directly from factories in China and selling them as if they were legitimate DVDs. The defendants had their Chinese partners ship the DVDs to numerous acquaintances to avoid detection by U.S. Customs and used friends and acquaintances to wire money to China to pay for the goods. The counterfeit DVDs were shipped to customers from a residence in Elk Grove and a facility in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Caldwell and Brown were arrested on July 13, 2012, in Elk Grove and appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman where they both pleaded not guilty. They were released on bond and ordered to appear before United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on August 1, 2012. Johnson was arrested on July 27, 2012 in Riverdale, Georgia and appeared in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. He was ordered detained without bail and remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal Service for transport to Sacramento to answer the charges.
This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Morris is prosecuting the case.
The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count. The maximum statutory penalty for trafficking in counterfeit goods is 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine. The actual sentences, if the defendants are convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.