A pair of brothers who live on Long Island are facing serious trademark counterfeiting charges after police raided several storage facilities belonging to their business. Authorities accuse the men of putting brand names on baby oil, sanitary pads and cold medicine, and selling the items to retail stores as if they were genuine.
There was a fire at one of the defendants’ facilities in 2013 that required the attention of firefighters. The firefighters, suspecting that the products in the warehouse were counterfeit, reported to the Nassau County Fire Marshals, which contacted several medical products companies, such as Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.
This investigation led to the brothers, ages 60 and 59, to arrested earlier in March. They were indicted in court the week of March 17, and they pleaded not guilty to charges of trademark counterfeiting. The judge set bail at $100,000 case or bone for one of the brothers, and at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash for the other. It is not clear if either had posted bond as of March 21.
Their products allegedly have been found on the shelves in New York and other states. No reports of people being harmed by them were mentioned by the Long Island Press.
The criminal charges against the defendants are quite serious. Though white collar charges generally do not involve violence, a conviction can mean prison time and other penalties. Someone who is asked to speak with an investigator about possible white collar crime should speak to an attorney before answering questions from the police.
Source: Long Island Press, “Long Island Duo Plead Not Guilty in Alleged $2M Fake Health Products Ring,” Timothy Bolger, March 21, 2014