A North Texas man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to his role in a conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods, including well-known fashion brands, U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas said late Tuesday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations is investigating this case.
Evan Patterson, 31, from Grand Prairie, Tex., remains on bond after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for Feb. 16 before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay.
According to documents filed in the case, from about January 2010 to December 2013, Patterson and a codefendant conspired to knowingly and intentionally traffic in goods they knew bore counterfeit marks. The marks on these goods were spurious and identical, or indistinguishable from trademarks registered for those goods in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Patterson and his codefendant imported and sold clothing, apparel and accessories manufactured by unauthorized suppliers in China that replicated the authentic brand-name goods bearing the counterfeit marks of the following trademarks that included Nike, Ugg, Beats, Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Carolina Herrera, New Era, Oakley, Michael Kors, North Face, National Football League, Coach, Gucci, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Ray-Ban, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Vera Wang, White Diamonds, Tory Burch, Armani, True Religion, Rolex, Lacoste, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermès and Louis Vuitton.
Patterson and his codefendant displayed and sold the counterfeit goods to customers at a showroom and warehouse located on West Pioneer Parkway in Grand Prairie. They also established and maintained at least 17 Web sites where customers could order and pay for the goods online. Orders for the goods were directed to suppliers in China, who then shipped the items directly to customers in the U.S.
Court documents showed that on June 6, 2013, Patterson sold an undercover federal agent a Louis Vuitton handbag and wallet, a Michael Kors handbag, a Buffalo Bills jersey, a Dallas Cowboys jersey and a Texas Rangers jersey, all bearing counterfeit marks, for a total of $200.
In November 2013, HSI special agents executed a federal search warrant at the showroom and seized about 750 counterfeit items, including sports jerseys, Nike sports shoes, Ugg boots, and designer handbags, wallets, belts, watches, sunglasses and perfumes, all bearing counterfeit trademarks. Industry representatives confirmed the seized items were counterfeit and the combined estimated manufacturers suggested retail price was $200,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Stokes is prosecuting the case.