News and Press Releases

COLUMBUS CLOTHING STORE OPERATOR INDICTED FOR ALLEGEDLY SELLING COUNTERFEIT MERCHANDISE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2014
http://www.justice.gov/usao/ohs
CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer
(614) 469-5715

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has indicted Rami Hisham Mohammad, 33, of Hilliard, Ohio, charging him with trafficking in counterfeit goods or services for conspiring to obtain and sell allegedly counterfeit apparel, jewelry and DVDs from his business, Rock Star Fashions.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Marlon V. Miller, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced the indictment today.

The indictment alleges that Mohammad conspired with others between December 2008 and January 2012 to obtain shipments and/or truckloads of clothing, purses, jewelry and shoes bearing counterfeit marks including Nike, Timberland, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Ugg, Ed Hardy, Gucci and True Religion brand apparel. Mohammad also is alleged to have concealed the majority of the counterfeit merchandise in an adjoining warehouse space that was accessed through a disguised doorway behind a mirror in a bathroom that opened into a storage area.

During the execution of a search warrant in January 2012, investigators seized more than 5,400 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes, more than 200 counterfeit Coach purses, as well as jeans, watches, sunglasses, wallets, and NY Yankees ski caps.

Mohammad allegedly sold the merchandise at prices well below the retail price of legitimate merchandise. Mohammad also allegedly sold bootleg movie DVDs at the store. U.S. Attorney Stewart said the investigation continues into how Mohammad obtained the counterfeit items.

The indictment charges Mohammad with one count of conspiracy and five counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Each count is punishable by up to ten years in prison. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of all proceeds of the crimes and property used to facilitate the crime.
U.S. District Judge James L. Graham will issue a summons for Mohammad to appear in federal court.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation of this case by HSI and the Columbus Police, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah A. Solove, who is prosecuting the case.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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