FORMER WHIDBEY ISLAND RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO TRAFFICKING IN COUNTERFEIT GOODS
Counterfeit Bowflex, AB Lounge Equipment Imported From China and Sold on eBay
A former Whidbey Island resident, who now resides in Riverside, California, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle in connection with a scheme to import counterfeit goods and sell them on eBay. Many of the items sold are heavily advertised in infomercials on television. BRYAN POLEE, 28, faces up to ten years in prison and a $2,000,000 fine when sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on May 15, 2009 at 9:00 a.m.
According to the charging information and plea agreement, between at least January 2005, and April 2008, POLEE imported counterfeit goods from China through his company ZMP Enterprises, in Oak Harbor, Washington. POLEE purchased the goods, primarily fitness equipment, from a Chinese supplier and sold them over the internet – primarily via eBay. The goods were made to appear to be from reputable manufacturers such as Fitness Quest, Homeland Housewares, OneUp Innovations, and Nautilus, Inc. The goods were labeled with counterfeit trademarks making it appear they were made by reputable manufacturers. POLEE was paid more than $2.1 million for the counterfeit goods he sold over eBay.
POLEE trafficked in 3177 counterfeit Bowflex units with a value of more than $1 million. Bowflex is a trademarked fitness unit sold by Nautilus, Inc. POLEE sold 149 counterfeit units of the AB Lounge made by Fitness Quest worth more than $15,000. POLEE sold 1854 counterfeit Magic Bullet blenders made by Homeland Housewares worth more than $83,000 and he sold 401 counterfeit Liberator Cushions made by OneUp Innovations worth more than $62,000.
POLEE’s last shipment in April 2008, was seized at the Port of Tacoma. The goods worth some $760,000, have been seized by the government and will be destroyed. As part of his plea agreement, POLEE will forfeit to the government $30,000 in cash, a 2003 Cadillac CTS and a 2000 Jaguar S-Type.
“During these challenging economic times, this case serves as a reminder that enforcement of our nation’s counterfeiting laws is about protecting the rights and economic interests of those who play by the rules and justly penalizing those who seek to turn a personal profit through the illegal sale of fraudulent products,” said Leigh Winchell, Special Agent in Charge of Investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “ICE remains committed to working closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate those who engage in the sale of sub-par, counterfeit goods, which could potentially jeopardize the public’s safety.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mary K. Dimke.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.