New Orleans Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking in $193,980 worth of Counterfeit Goods
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that MAHER SALIM, age 41, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Jay A. Zainey after previously being charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2320(a)(1).
According to court documents, SALIM owned and operated BRANDS 4 LESS, a business located at 4200 Washington Avenue, Unit A, in New Orleans. On about November 9, 2016, agents with the United States Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) conducted a cargo inspection of a suspicious package addressed to SALIM at the DHL Express facility in Kenner, Louisiana. The package contained 32 pairs of Nike shoes that were determined to be counterfeit. Thereafter, a Nike representative entered BRANDS 4 LESS during its business hours and purchased another pair of counterfeit Nike shoes. Based on this information, HSI agents executed a federal search warrant on BRANDS 4 LESS on January 19, 2017. During the search, agents seized numerous counterfeit goods SALIM was selling that bore the false marks of makers of clothing and luxury goods, including True Religion, Rock Revival, Michael Kors, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Polo, Timberland, New Era, Nike, Adidas, Dolce & Gabbana, Mitchell & Ness, and North Face. The collective fair market value of all the items was approximately $193,980.
SALIM faces a maximum term of ten (10) years in prison, a fine of up to $2,000,000.00, up to three (3) years of supervised release after imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment. Sentencing before Judge Zainey has been scheduled for May 14, 2019.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.
Updated February 12, 2019