United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Bakersfield Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Docket #: 1:11-cr-80-AWI
FRESNO, Calif. C Eric Huggins, 53, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, the investigation began agents received a tip that Huggins was selling counterfeit goods from a business called “Girlfriends by Design” in Bakersfield. Investigators executed search warrants at two business locations, as well as Huggin’s residence and seized approximately $140,000 in counterfeit purses, apparel items, emblems, and labels related to brands including Chanel, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Adidas, Reebok, and Lacoste. Investigators also observed Huggins selling suspected counterfeit merchandise from his vehicle at various locations in Bakersfield after the initial search warrants were executed. In a plea agreement, Huggins admitted that from February 2009 through January 2011, he intentionally trafficked in clothing, handbags, sunglasses, and other merchandise that contained counterfeit trademarks. As part of his plea agreement, the he has agreed to forfeit hundreds of counterfeit items.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney David Gappa is prosecuting the case.
Huggins will be sentenced on September 3, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. by Senior United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. Huggins faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $2 million fine, and a three-year term of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.