Counterfeiters infringe ‘most distinctive’ trademarks, says Louis Vuitton
A Missouri-based woman has pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods into the US, after a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation uncovered a counterfeit scheme.
Tonya Virtue admitted that she had sold approximately $50,000 worth of fake Louis Vuitton items through her online store, Soul Sisters, to customers throughout the US.
ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit and the Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigation division led the investigation.
According to a statement from ICE, Virtue received shipments of fabric and material affixed with counterfeit Louis Vuitton trademarks from China between January and September this year.
Virtue then created counterfeit handbags, purses and other items from the fake fabric which she sold to consumers who believed they were purchasing items created by Louis Vuitton.
She must pay back the $50,000 made from selling the fakes to the US government, as well as forfeiting fake handbags, wallets and Louis Vuitton-branded material.
Under federal statutes, Virtue could be subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole.
Virtue waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before US Magistrate Judge David Rush.
ICE, operation, counterfeit, Louis Vuitton, clothing, handbags, trademark, trademark infringement, smuggling