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Feds nab four in counterfeit cycling sales

Published June 25, 2012

DENVER, CO (BRAIN) Monday June 25 2012 6:16 PM MT—Investigators in Colorado have arrested four Denver residents and charged them with selling $200,000 worth of counterfeit cycling jerseys and components on eBay over the past four years.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers recently issued indictments against brothers Piotr Abramczyk, 29 and Pawel Abramczyk, 34, and Donatas Juodzevicius, 32, for computer crime, filing false tax returns and trademark counterfeiting for allegedly selling counterfeit cycling jerseys and components. Sally Sogue, 28, the wife of Piotr Abramczyk, was indicted for filing false tax returns.

At the time of the arrests, federal investigators seized Specialized 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.

The arrests culminated an investigation that began in December 2010 when Specialized’s brand security team noticed Specialized replica jerseys and shorts listed on eBay. Specialized worked with eBay to take down the sales. After that, the accused allegedly began selling the fake gear through other websites and in person to local cyclists.

Specialized presented the case to the Department of Homeland Security, which handed it to its Colorado division. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations headed the case, working with the Attorney General’s office and the Colorado Department of Revenue. Specialized, Invista, eBay and Paypal also played roles.

A case such as this may not seem like it would register too high on the priority list at the federal level, but it comes down to protecting U.S. jobs and economic losses, according to a June 18 press release on the arrests issued by the Attorney General’s office.

“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. “Enforcing U.S. trademarks helps protect U.S. jobs while also protecting consumers from inferior merchandise.”

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