New York man charged with trafficking in counterfeit merchandise
A New York man was charged wtih trafficking in counterfeit merchandise after investigators found him with more than 1,300 counterfeit items, including handbags, sunglasses and shirts, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Man Zhang, age 30, of Woodside, New York, was named in the one-count indictment.
On or about March 27, 2013, Zhang intentionally trafficked and attempted to traffic more than 1,300 items, including 225 designer handbags, 53 designer wallets, 71 pairs of designer sunglasses, 339 hats, 349 Monster and Ed Hardy tee-shirts, and 209 bottles of designer perfume, each of which contained counterfeit marks, logos, labels and tags, according to the indictment.
The marks on the merchandise were identical to and substantially indistinguishable from marks used on genuine merchandise, and were in use and registered for such goods on the principle register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The use of such counterfeit marks was likely to cause confusion, mistake or to deceive, according to the indictment.
According to a criminal complaint previously filed in this matter, Zhang’s vehicle was stopped in Austintown, Ohio, on March 27, 2013, for a traffic violation. Upon stopping the vehicle, police officers observed numerous items in plain view inside the vehicle which appeared to be counterfeit merchandise. Zhang was arrested on outstanding state warrants and the vehicle was impounded and inventoried.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Kern of the Cleveland U.S. Attorney’s Office, following an investigation by the Cleveland Office of the Department of Homeland Security, Office Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.