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.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast