A Minnesota man is facing federal criminal charges for conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods as a result of his alleged involvement in a counterfeit sports jersey scheme.
The man, who lives in the Twin Cities area, was indicted earlier this month. Prosecutors say he conspired with others to import counterfeit sports jerseys from China and sell them people in the United States between 2009 and 2012. He allegedly sold the jerseys in Miami and to a retailer here in nearby Roseville.
The Department of Homeland Security is investigating the case, along with the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports Logos. If the mane is convicted of the charges, the man could be facing as much as 10 years in prison, as well as a monetary fine of up to $2 million.
It may surprise some readers to see the severity of the potential penalties that could be involved in this case, considering the nature of the charges. But there are certain factors at work here that make these allegations very serious.
One is the fact that the man is being charged with a federal crime rather than a state-level offense. Oftentimes, this means that the consequences of conviction are harsher than they would be for a similar offense at the state level.
Another factor is that the man is being charged with conspiracy as well as the underlying counterfeit charge. Put simply, conspiracy is the act of planning a crime with at least one other person and taking a step toward carrying it out. Because groups of people acting together for criminal purposes are thought to be more threatening to society than individuals acting alone, the penalties for conspiracy can be especially harsh.
Source: The Washington Times, "Minnesota man charged in counterfeit jersey sales," Associated Press, July 14, 2014