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Distributor imprisoned for counterfeit clothing trading
Oct '07
A national distributor of more than $7 million in counterfeit clothing has been sentenced to 57 months in prison, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg of the Eastern District of Virginia, and Special Agent in Charge Charles Cunningham of the FBI's Richmond Division, announced.

Abbas Chouman, 43, of Astoria, N.Y, was sentenced on one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Judge Hudson also ordered Chouman to forfeit $7 million. Chouman pleaded guilty to conspiracy on July 3, 2007, and has remained in federal custody since his arrest in March 2007.

Chouman operated a wholesale clothing business in New York City that sold more than $7 million in counterfeit clothing. The business, known by various names including: Gizmo Wear Inc, Tea Shirt Inc, T Shirt International Inc, and Jump Wear, offered clothing bearing counterfeit marks at a substantial discount from prices charged for legitimate clothing.

Buyers could purchase counterfeit clothing in person at the New York store or by telephone, receiving shipment by UPS. Buyers throughout the United States, including in the Eastern District of Virginia, paid cash on delivery (COD) for shipped clothing with money orders they remitted to UPS.

UPS, in turn, regularly deposited the proceeds of clothing sales in a bank account held under the Gizmo Wear Inc name. Between December 1, 2004, and September 1, 2006, UPS deposited nearly $19 million in COD payments in the Gizmo Wear Inc account.

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