A federal grand jury in Jacksonville, Fla., indicted six people for their alleged roles in trafficking counterfeit luxury goods. According to the indictment, filed Sept. 24, the defendants, all Jacksonville residents, sold fake goods bearing the trademarks of Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace and others through a number of venues in Florida. The defendants are: Fred Yassen, 59; Ana Cai, 21; Bassirou Willane, 48; Young Jong Kim, 26; Ying Jie Zhou, 24, and Chun Hua Zheng, 35. U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $2 million fine. Attorneys for Yassen and Willane said their clients had no comment on the allegations. Attorneys for the other defendants did not return a call seeking comment.
The chances that Woody Allen’s lawsuit against American Apparel Inc. will make it into a courtroom have improved. According to papers filed in federal court in Manhattan on Oct. 6, a judge has ruled that the case is ineligible for mediation. In March, Allen sued American Apparel for using his image on billboards in New York and Los Angeles in 2007 without his consent. According to documents filed on behalf of Allen, his approval was not sought and he was not compensated for the ads, which showed the filmmaker dressed as an Orthodox rabbi. A trial date for the case has not been set.