Man who sold fake Disney pins from China gets 8 years

A Southern California man was sentenced Monday to eight years in state prison for illegally importing counterfeit Disney merchandise from China and selling it over the Internet, prosecutors said.

Larry James Allred, 58, pleaded guilty to a court offer of one felony count of trademark infringement, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors said Allred, a resident of Walnut, had two previous strikes: a 1975 rape conviction and a 1978 conviction for rape and kidnapping.

As part of his sentence, Allred will also have to pay $201,000 in restitution, prosecutors said.

Allred’s partner in the fraudulent operation, Robert Edward Smyrak, 54, of Anaheim was sentenced to one year in jail, three years probation and was ordered to pay restitution after he pleaded guilty in 2011 to one felony count of trademark infringement, prosecutors said.

Between January 2010 and April 2011, prosecutors said, the men sent genuine Disney collectible pins to a Chinese manufacturer to be replicated and then sold the merchandise online in bulk.

In all, prosecutors said they sold almost 1 million counterfeit items, often for less than $1 per pin. (The retail price for the authentic versions were between $6.95 and $14.95.)

In 2011, the men were caught when Customs officials opened a parcel at LAX addressed to Smyrak that contained more than 150 pounds of counterfeit pins. Smyrack and Allred were arrested by Anaheim police, and at the time, were in possession of more than 91,000 counterfeit pins.

 

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-fake-disney-pins-20130715,0,1636110.story

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