FEDERAL COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST CALIFORNIA COMPANY FOR IMPORTING COUNTERFEIT ATLANTA BRAVES BASEBALL CAPS
August 17, 2011
United States Seeks Over Half Million Dollars in Penalties
ATLANTA, GA - “BILLION INTERNATIONAL TRADING, INC.,” of South El Monte, California, has been sued in a federal complaint seeking civil penalties for importing counterfeit goods, specifically products that use a specific letter “A” owned by the Atlanta Braves baseball club in Atlanta.
Sally Quillian Yates, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said, “Significant quantities of counterfeit goods are imported into the United States each year, hurting hard-working Americans and companies who hold the trademarks. An action like this demonstrates our commitment to protecting intellectual property rights.”
Michael Denning, Acting Director of Field Operations, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Atlanta, said, “Continued vigilance by Customs and Border Protection officers at our ports of entry is instrumental in not only protecting our homeland and restricting the flow of illicit drugs from crossing the border, but also working diligently to protect businesses and consumers every day by combating the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods. These seizures represent the commitment by CBP in protecting the American consumer from receiving fraudulent, inferior and in many cases potentially dangerous products.”
According to United States Attorney Yates and the complaint filed today, BILLION INTERNATIONAL TRADING violated the “Anticounterfeiting Consumer Protection Act” by attempting to import 20,160 acrylic and wool baseball caps bearing a counterfeit Atlanta Braves’ letter “A.” The complaint alleges that BILLION INTERNATIONAL TRADING purchased the counterfeit baseball caps from a Chinese company, “Yangzhou Yingmei Caps Factory Co., Ltd.”
In December 2008, The United States Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, identified and seized the counterfeit baseball caps upon importation at the Port of Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The counterfeit caps would have a manufacturer’s suggested retail value of approximately $644,918.40 if genuine, and the complaint alleges that BILLION INTERNATIONAL TRADING is liable for a civil fine in that amount. It is believed that the hats were intended to be sold in the Atlanta area.
Members of the public are reminded that the complaint contains only allegations. It will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s liability by the preponderance of the evidence at trial.
This case is being investigated by United States Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.
Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Huber is litigating the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.