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Carrollton Man Sentenced for Counterfeit Cell Phone Accessories
TYLER, TX – A 54-year-old Carrollton, Texas, man has been sentenced to federal prison for a counterfeiting conspiracy in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Shiraz Sherali Odhwani pleaded guilty on Sep. 9, 2011, to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison by United States District Judge Michael H. Schneider. Odhwani was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $950,000.
According to information presented in court, Odhwani owns and operates a company known as Turtle Wireless, a wholesale outlet and retail point of sale for cellular telephones and wireless device accessories located in Dallas, Texas. In or about 2008, Turtle Wireless began selling counterfeit cellular telephone accessories purchased from suppliers in China. Through Turtle Wireless, Odhwani then sold the counterfeit products to retailers within the Eastern District of Texas and elsewhere. In connection with this case, law enforcement officials seized more than 130,000 counterfeit items from Odhwani’s store and leased storage space. The infringement amount of that counterfeit merchandise was estimated at between $2.5 million and $7 million. Odhwani and three others were indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2011.
This case is an example of the type of efforts being undertaken by the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property (IP Task Force). Attorney General Eric Holder created the IP Task Force to combat the growing number of domestic and international intellectual property crimes, protect the health and safety of American consumers, and safeguard the nation’s economic security against those who seek to profit illegally from American creativity, innovation and hard work. The IP Task Force seeks to strengthen intellectual property rights protection through heightened criminal and civil enforcement, greater coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and increased focus on international enforcement efforts, including reinforcing relationships with key foreign partners and U.S. industry leaders. To learn more about the IP Task Force, go to www.justice.gov/dag/iptaskforce.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, the Longview Police Department, the Baytown Police Department, and the Austin Police Department. The matter was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Coan.