Importing Counterfeit Toys Results in Individuals Forfeiting Money, Merchandise
The Department of Justice announced Aug. 27 that two New York residents have pleaded guilty to importing more than 100,000 counterfeit and hazardous children’s toys from China for sale in the United States in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act. The two individuals, the last of nine defendants (including five corporations) to plead guilty in connection with these imports, will forfeit $700,000 and more than 120,000 toys and will be sentenced to additional penalties at a later date.
A DOJ press release states that the toys at issue had copyright-infringing images and counterfeit trademarks of popular children’s characters as well as unsafe levels of lead and phthalates, small parts that presented risks of choking, aspiration or ingestion, easily-accessible battery compartments and other potential hazards. The individual defendants changed their use of the companies, sometimes even forming new companies, and alternated their formal titles to conceal their continued importation and distribution of these toys.