United States Attorney
Southern District of New York
U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
NOVEMBER 29, 2010 ELLEN DAVIS
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, and JAMES T. HAYES, JR., the
Special Agent-in-Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations in New
York (“ICE HSI”), announced today that seizure orders have been
executed against 24 commercial websites engaged in the illegal
sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works,
as part of a Department of Justice and ICE HSI “Cyber Monday”
crackdown. The coordinated federal law enforcement action,
titled “Operation In Our Sites v. 2.0,” targeted online retailers
of a diverse array of counterfeit goods, including sports
equipment, shoes, handbags, athletic apparel and sunglasses as
well as illegal copies of copyrighted DVD boxed sets, and music.
Federal courts throughout the country have executed seizure
orders against a total of 82 website domain names.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “The fact
that the Monday after Thanksgiving has come to be known as ‘Cyber
Monday’ in the retail world, demonstrates what an important role
the Internet plays in the sale of goods and services. Trafficking
of counterfeit goods and criminal copyright infringement over the
Internet is an epidemic, and reportedly results in billions of
dollars in losses to the U.S. economy. That translates into lost
jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people. Working
with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to be
vigilant in shutting down websites facilitating such criminal
ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge JAMES T. HAYES, JR.
said: “Counterfeiting, piracy and the unlawful importation of
goods pose a triple threat to the national security, public
safety and economic well-being of the United States. The
enforcement of America’s counterfeiting laws is about protecting
the rights of those who play by the rules and keeping sub-par and
unsafe merchandise off our streets and illicit funds out of the
hands of organized criminal groups here and abroad.”
The first seizure warrant (“Seizure Warrant-1”) ordered
the seizure of the domain names of 23 websites –-
OVERBESTMALL.COM, AMOYHY.COM, GOLFWHOLESALE18.COM,
BOXSET4LESS.COM, STOREOFEAST.COM, DVDSUPERDEAL.COM,
LOUISVUITTONOUTLETSTORES2U.COM, SHAWLS-STORE.COM, USAOUTLETS.NET,
SCARFVIPONSALE.COM, BURBERRYOUTLETSHOP.COM, SILKSCARF-SHOP.COM,
CHEAPSCARFSHOP.COM, SILKSCARFONSALE.COM, BISHOE.COM,
ICQSHOES.COM, 51607.COM, STUFF-TRADE.COM, and MASSNIKE.COM –- for
trafficking in counterfeit merchandise. Four of these websites –
BOXSET4LESS.COM, STOREOFEAST.COM, DVDSUPERDEAL.COM, and
CARTOON77.COM – were also ordered seized for violations of
Federal criminal copyright infringement laws.
The second warrant (“Seizure Warrant-2”) ordered the
seizure of the domain name TVSHACK.CC for violations of Federal
criminal copyright infringement laws.
According to the seizure warrant applications filed
today in Manhattan Federal Court:
The 23 websites ordered seized by Seizure Warrant-1
sell a variety of goods that bear counterfeit trademarks,
including among other things, footwear, apparel, handbags and
other accessories, digital video disks (“DVDs”), and sporting
goods. The counterfeited trademarks include those of the
National Football League, the National Basketball Association,
Nike, Chanel, Cartier, and other major brands. Four of the
websites targeted by Seizure Warrant-1 also sold DVDs containing
pirated movies and television programs. All of the websites
targeted by Seizure Warrant-1 shipped infringing goods directly
The website TVSHACK.CC, which was ordered seized by
Seizure Warrant-2, was a target of an ongoing investigation into
websites that illegally distribute copyright-protected content,
particularly first-run movies and television shows, over the
Internet. TVSHACK.CC, is a “linking” website, which provides
access, or “links,” to other websites where pirated movies and
television programs are stored. Linking websites allow users to
quickly browse content and locate illegal copies of movies and
television shows that would otherwise be more difficult to find.
TVSHACK.CC is the successor to TVSHACK.NET, which was seized at
the end of June 2010 for similar criminal copyright violations.
At its inception, TVSHACK.CC’s homepage featured a photograph of
a rap music group and the title of one of their songs: “F*ck the
Police” – an apparent reference to the seizure of the site’s
predecessor by law enforcement.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern
District of New York will ask that the domain names for these
websites be forfeited. As authorized by the warrants, all
visitors to these websites will be redirected to a banner that
advises them that the domain name has been seized by Order of the
Court, in connection with criminal counterfeit and copyright
violations. A copy of the banner is attached.
Mr. BHARARA praised the work of ICE HSI and added that
the investigation is continuing.
The nationwide operation was spearheaded by the
National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR
Center) led by ICE’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations.
The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government’s key weapons in the
fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. It 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. To learn more about
the IPR Center, visit www.ice.gov.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex
Frauds and Asset Forfeiture Units. Assistant United States
Attorneys THOMAS G.A. BROWN, SARAH LAI, DAVID MILLER, JASON
HERNANDEZ, and Special Assistant United States Attorney JOHN REH
are in charge of the investigation.