DENVER — Four individuals were indicted recently for computer crime, filing false tax returns and trademark counterfeiting for selling counterfeit cycling jerseys and bicycle components on the Internet, announced Colorado Attorney General John Suthers Monday. Counterfeit items seized from the main target’s apartment have an estimated industry manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) value of $285,306.
According to the indictment, Piotr Abramczyk, 29, Pawel Abramczyk, 34, and Donatas Juodzevicius, 32, opened eBay accounts to facilitate illegally selling counterfeit merchandise. Records show sales of more than $200,000 between 2008 and 2012. Piotr and Pawel Abramczyk are brothers. Sally Sogue, 28, is married to Piotr Abramczyk and was indicted for filing false tax returns.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) led the investigation, and worked in cooperation with the Colorado Attorney General's Office and the Colorado Department of Revenue. Significant assistance was also provided by Specialized Bicycles Brand Security and eBay.
"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, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. "Enforcing U.S. trademarks helps protect U.S. jobs while also protecting consumers from inferior merchandise."
Selling counterfeit merchandise is a crime that has significant public safety consequences, and causes economic losses in the form of lost jobs and lost income to legitimate companies.
As the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, HSI plays a leading role in targeting criminal organizations responsible for producing, smuggling and distributing counterfeit products. HSI focuses not only on keeping counterfeit products off our streets, but also on dismantling the criminal organizations behind such illicit activity.
The HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) in Washington is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. As a task force, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 20 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.
To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.
An indictment is merely a formal accusation that an individual committed a crime. Each defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Colorado Attorney General's Office is prosecuting this case in Denver District Court.