BOSTON — A Springfield man was convicted Thursday of selling counterfeit goods following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Josue Rivera, 38, pleaded guilty to trafficking in counterfeit and unauthorized goods. As part of his plea agreement, Rivera paid $29,000 in restitution and forfeited two bank accounts worth approximately $79,000.
Rivera operated a retail merchandise business in Springfield called Main Source. From April to June 2012, Rivera sold counterfeit merchandise, including clothing, footwear and accessories that bore a variety of brand names including Gucci, Nike, Coach, Chanel and Oakley. Rivera also stocked and sold unauthorized reproductions of movies and music CDs.
"Intellectual property rights violations are a stubbornly persistent threat," said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. "This is by no means a victimless crime. It's robbing people of their ideas, inventions and creative expressions while at the same time robbing the nation of jobs and lost tax revenues."
A number of HSI leads involving intellectual property rights (IPR) stem from the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. It is led by HSI and includes partners from U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the FBI; the Department of Commerce; the Food and Drug Administration; the Postal Inspection Service; the General Services Administration, Office of the Inspector General; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Army Criminal Investigative Division's Major Procurement Fraud Unit; the Consumer Product Safety Commission, INTERPOL; and the Government of Mexico Tax Administrative Service.
The IPR Center allows law enforcement and the private sector jointly to address the growing transnational problem of counterfeit products. The IPR Center coordinates outreach to U.S. rights holders and conducts domestic and international law enforcement as well as coordinates and directs anti-counterfeiting investigations.