U.S. Busts – April 2009

RIAA Anti-Piracy Seizure Information

New York | Tennessee

New York

April 25, 2009 – Six people, involved in a major counterfeiting ring that operated out of a self-storage facility, Stop and Stor, in Sunset Park, are under arrest. The arrests were the result of a year-long sting operation, in which an undercover KCDA Detective Investigator rented a storage room and posed as a dealer in counterfeit goods. Search warrants were executed on 123 storage units at the Stop and Stor, 534 63rd Street. The value of the bogus merchandise confiscated during execution of the warrants is estimated at $20 million and included 17 pairs of counterfeit Nike sneakers emblazoned with pictures of President Barack Obama. The joint investigation, with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, New York State Police and the Waterfront Commission, began after the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office learned that the storage facility was being used as a citywide hub for dealers in counterfeit, name-brand products. Over the course of the past year, undercover detective investigators purchased items including fake Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Coach handbags, as well as Diesel jeans, Nike sneakers, Affliction t-shirts, Ed Hardy t-shirts, and Timberland boots. During the investigation, investigators witnessed thousands of knockoff Nike sneakers delivered to and sold from the storage facility daily. Investigators learned that the goods were manufactured in China and smuggled into the United States. The storage facility was used as a place where dealers could store and sell goods. Retailers came from across the city to make wholesale purchases. The execution of the search warrant uncovered more than 100,000 pieces of counterfeit merchandise, including designer bags, shoes, with brand names such as Channel, Dolce & Gabbana, Dooney & Bourke, and True Religion. Kai Fong Chen, 39, and Min Min Zheng, 24, have been charged with second-degree trademark counterfeiting, a class E felony. The remaining individuals, Cheng Jun Lin, 43; Lian Min Guo, 34; Jian C. Lan, 45; and Xia S. Dong, 33, have been charged with third-degree trademark counterfeiting, a class A misdemeanor.

April 13, 2009 – Four people have been arrested in New York on suspicion of distributing video game consoles that include pirated Nintendo gaming software. The arrests were made by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations on April 13, 2009, and involved consoles sold under the “Power Player” name that contain dozens of pirated versions of Nintendo games including Donkey Kong and Mario Bros., Nintendo says in a statement. The four are accused of importing 27 cargo containers containing a total of 280,000 of the consoles between September and December 2008.


April 20, 2009 – A woman was arrested for allegedly selling thousands of dollars worth of counterfeit items at the Mid-South Flea Market. Shelby County sheriff’s deputies arrested Ladda Skinner, 54, of Huntingdon for having counterfeit Louis Vuitton and Coach sunglasses for sale. Officials said they confiscated 161 pairs of sunglasses, worth nearly $38,000, were taken. Undercover deputies made the arrest, acting on a tip. According to officials, at a separate booth deputies found 60 pairs of counterfeit Coach shoes and nine purses, worth more than $16,000. That case involves flea market vendors that are still under investigation.

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