Operator of local frison flea market indicted on federal fraud charges
St. Louis, MO - JACK FRISON, SR. was indicted on multiple charges relating to his alleged involvement in the sale of counterfeit goods and DVD’s.
According to the indictment, Frison owns the Frison Flea Market, located in Pagedale, MO. Vendors paid Frison a rental fee to rent and operate sales booths at his Flea Market, and many of these vendors openly sold counterfeit goods from their booths at the Market. The counterfeit goods included clothing, footwear, purses, accessories, movie DVDs and music CDs. Many of the counterfeit items including purses, were of such price, quality and appearance that it was apparent that the items were counterfeit. Some of the vendors sold counterfeit purses and similar luxury items bearing marks owned by Coach, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and others. The indictment alleges that Frison knew that the goods were counterfeit and allowed vendors to continue selling such goods.
"This type of crime takes jobs from Americans, introduces cheap and sometimes dangerous products into the marketplace and oftentimes funds criminal organizations. HSI is focused on disrupting and deterring counterfeiters, while protecting the intellectual property of American companies that is so critical to our nation's job growth and economic recovery," said Special Agent in Charge of HSI-Chicago Gary Hartwig.
"This is one of the largest seizures of counterfeit goods in St. Louis history," said Dean C. Bryant, Special Agent in Charge of the FB- St. Louis Division. "In addition to the monetary harm caused by illegal sales, items such as counterfeit perfume can pose a significant public health risk when hazardous materials are used to manufacture such products."
Frison, of Town and Country, MO, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, one felony count of aiding and abetting copyright infringement and one felony count of trafficking counterfeit goods. The indictment was returned on June 12, but remained sealed until the defendant turned himself in to authorities earlier today.
If convicted, the conspiracy and copyright infringement charges each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000 and trafficking in counterfeit goods carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $2,000,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Louis County Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys John Bodenhausen and Jennifer Roy are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.