Bike Industry Hurt by “Peddlers” of Fake Goods -
According to a recent story in Bicycling Retailer, investigators in Colorado have arrested four Denver residents and charged them with selling $200,000 worth of counterfeit cycling jerseys and bike components on eBay over the past four years. Hiigh-tech bike textiles and components were seized by federal agents.
The indictments against brothers Piotr Abramczyk and Pawel Abramczyk, and Donatas Juodzevicius, include computer crime, filing false tax returns and trademark counterfeiting for allegedly selling counterfeit cycling jerseys and components. (Piotr’s wife, Sally Sogue, was indicted for filing false tax returns.)
At the time of the arrests, federal investigators seized Specialized biking apparel using INVISTA’s Coolmax fabric trademarks, carbon fiber handlebars and counterfeit Mavic 5-spoke 10 carbon wheels with a retail value of more than $285,000. INVISTA is one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications, and licenses its product to some of the most influential names in the apparel industry, including Specialized.
It’s interesting to note how multiple agencies were used to bring this counterfeiting ring down. Personnel from the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney General, the Colorado Department of Revenue, Specialized, INVISTA, eBay and PayPal combined to identify the counterfeiters.
“Our Homeland Security Investigations counterfeit and cyber enforcement operations play an important role in protecting U.S. trademarks, especially when we team up with other agencies,” said Kumar C. Kibble, the special agent in charge of the investigation, in the article. “Enforcing U.S. trademarks helps protect U.S. jobs while also protecting consumers from inferior merchandise.”