News and Press Releases

Monroeville Man Pleads Guilty To Selling Knock‑Off Nikes

July 19, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, July 19, 2010, that Bertram Thomas Tarpley, a resident of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of trademark counterfeiting.

Tarpley, age 46, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond.

In connection with the guilty plea, Assistant United States Attorney Shaun E. Sweeney advised the court that on May 8, 2008, Monroeville Police Officer Ronald Croll responded to a call behind the Burlington Coat Factory store, where he found Tarpley taking delivery of several boxes from a UPS delivery truck.  Mr. Tarpley agreed to open the boxes for Officer Croll, at which time Officer Croll discovered approximately 80 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes.  When Officer Croll searched Tarpley's 2003 GMC Yukon, he found approximately 64 more pairs of counterfeit shoes.  Subsequent investigation by the FBI and the Monroeville Police Department revealed that, between January of 2007 and May of 2008, Tarpley had paid approximately $123,678.40 for counterfeit Nike shoes from a supplier in New York City.  Tarpley sold those shoes in Wilkinsburg and other neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.

Judge Diamond scheduled sentencing for November 17, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.  The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $2,000,000.00, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Monroeville Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Tarpley.

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