A six-day enforcement sting combating the importation and distribution of counterfeit and pirated goods has netted seven arrests and the seizure of merchandise worth more than $26 million in the United States, federal officials announced today.
Lanny Breuer, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, was on hand in Arlington, Va., today to announce the sting – dubbed “Operation Holiday Hoax.” The seized goods included Christmas ornaments, DVDs, CDs, clothing, shoes, handbags, perfume, stationery, phones and pharmaceuticals. In Mexico, the authorities seized an additional 272 tons of counterfeit goods.
“Consumers are entitled to rely on a marketplace that provides them with safe and legitimate products,” Breuer said in a prepared statement. “Consumers deserve to know that the goods and services they buy are what they say they are.”
The operation targeted the “most serious” intellectual property violators in the import and distribution network, Breuer said. Click here for a copy of the remarks.
In their own announcement supporting the law enforcement initiative, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America said the sting had netted nearly 160,000 counterfeit DVDs and CDs.
“More than 2.4 million American jobs are supported by the movie and television industry alone,” MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said in a statement. “Each of the pirated DVDs shown here today represents a theft, not just from the motion picture studios, but from the hard earned wages of these men and women working in all 50 states of our union.”