California Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking in Counterfeit Sports Apparel
A Mountain House, California man pleaded guilty today in Sacramento for trafficking in counterfeit sports apparel.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office and Sheriff Scott Jones of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department made the announcement.
Seyyed Ali Noori, 50, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods before U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. of the Eastern District of California. Noori was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 14, 2016, and will be sentenced on June 15.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Noori owned and operated Goldstar Wholesale LLC, a regional wholesale distributor based in Tracy, California, and also sold goods at the Galt Flea Market in Galt, California. In August, October, and November 2013, undercover officers with the Sacramento Intellectual Property Task Force purchased hundreds of dollars of counterfeit hats, shirts, and other accessories from Noori. These items bore counterfeit trademarks belonging to professional sports franchises in the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and the National Hockey League, as well as apparel brands like Monster Energy, Nike, and New Era. Purchases were made from Noori at the Galt Flea Market and the Goldstar warehouse.
Noori admitted that on Nov. 12, 2013, he was served with a notice directing him to cease-and-desist selling goods bearing counterfeit NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and Monster Energy trademarks. Noori signed a declaration that he understood the cease-and-desist notice and would refrain from selling such products in the future.
Nonetheless, according to Noori’s admissions, he continued to sell the counterfeit goods. On Dec. 3, 2013, undercover Task Force officers visited Noori’s retail stand at the Galt Flea Market, where Noori indicated that he could no longer display the counterfeit items for sale. Instead, he directed the officers to his box truck for the counterfeit goods, which they purchased. On Dec. 19, 2013, a search warrant executed at the Goldstar warehouse recovered thousands of items openly displayed for sale, including pieces of headwear, shirts, and accessories, all bearing counterfeit sports trademarks.
This case was investigated by the Sacramento Intellectual Property Task Force, the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. Trial Attorneys Aaron R. Cooper and Timothy C. Flowers of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are prosecuting the case.