INDIANAPOLIS— As more and more fans are returning to sporting venues; criminals are preying upon diehard fans offering counterfeit memorabilia hoping to cash at the expense of collectors and fans.
On May 3, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Indianapolis seized a shipment from China that contained 330 counterfeit championship rings. The shipment was destined for a store in Texas.
The parcel was held for inspection because of irregularities in the shipment and the routing of the package. When officers opened the package, they found 330 counterfeit MLB, NBA, NFL, and college football championship rings inside. The intercepted rings were sent to an import specialist for evaluation. The specialist noticed the rings appeared inferior to an authentic product, were packaged poorly, and had a plastic feel to the touch. The specialist deemed them counterfeit. Had the rings been real, the MSRP would have been $495,000.
“Shipments like these prey on the many sports fans across the nation who may be duped into paying high prices for garbage,” said Kerry Carter, Acting Port Director-Indianapolis. “I’m extremely proud of these officers’ determination in stopping illicit shipments, and our commitment to protecting the American economy.”
The parcel contained fake championship rings from the Los Angeles Lakers (117), Dallas Cowboys (73), Pittsburg Steelers (53), New England Patriots (17), Dallas Mavericks (9), Chicago Bulls (10), Kansas City Chiefs (9), Chicago Bears (10), Philadelphia Eagles (3), St. Louis Cardinals (10), NY Yankees (9), and Texas A&M (10).
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement is a Priority Trade Issue. Importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy, and threaten the health and safety of American people. In partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CBP seized 27,599 shipments with IPR violations in fiscal year 2019. If the seized products were genuine, the total manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the items would have been valued at over $1.5 billion.
Over the past five years, e-commerce has grown exponentially as consumers are increasingly completing purchases online. These purchases are typically shipped through international mail and express courier services.
If you are aware of, or suspect, a company or individual of infringing upon a trademark or copyright, please report the suspected violation to e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.