The Department of Justice said Tuesday it seized more than $896,000 in proceeds from the distribution of counterfeit sports apparel and jerseys that were in interbank accounts and three PayPal accounts.
The seizure was the result of an investigation into the sale of counterfeit goods on commercial Web sites. Seven domain names involved in the sale of counterfeit goods were also seized. The seizure warrants were unsealed Thursday in a federal court for the District of Columbia.
Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in June that it was initiating Operation In Our Sites to target commercial intellectual property crimes that occur online, such as e-commerce retailers selling counterfeit goods. Many of those sites sell counterfeit shoes, handbags, athletic apparel and sunglasses, said the Department of Justice. The DOJ also said 758 domain names of Web sites that sell counterfeit goods have been seized since the initiative began.
In the latest seizure, law enforcement agents said in court documents that some subjects whose domain names had been seized in November 2010 continued to sell counterfeit goods using new domain names. The individuals, based in China, sold counterfeit professional and collegiate sports apparel. Law enforcement agents, prior to obtaining seizure warrants, confirmed that the goods were counterfeit following undercover purchases from the Web sites using the new domain names.
Payments for the counterfeit goods were made using PayPal Private Ltd. accounts, with the proceeds later wired to bank accounts at Chinese banks. A total of $826,883 was seized from interbank accounts, those held by the Chinese banks in the U.S., while another $69,504 was taken from three PayPal accounts used in the sales, according to the DOJ.
Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the DOJ’s criminal division said, “This investigation disrupted an online counterfeit goods operation and also struck at the heart of the criminal enterprise by seizing hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal profits. The Justice Department, together with our partners at [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], will continue to do all that we can to punish and deter the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)