New York City Police Department

Press Release | NO. 2002-144

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 144
Wednesday, November 27, 2002



New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly And Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes Announce The Arrests Of Nine Counterfeiters Of Major Brands Including Nike, Rolex, Gucci And Calvin Klein

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes today announced the arrests of nine counterfeiters as part of Operation Hook at a press conference at One Police Plaza. The arrests follow an 18-month undercover investigation into several major counterfeiting operations of major brands including Nike, Rolex, Gucci, and Calvin Klein. "Trademark counterfeiting is a global problem that costs legitimate businesses billions of dollars each year. Here in New York we take the crime very seriously," said Commissioner Kelly. "Our detectives have done an excellent job of tracking and identifying these criminals. Counterfeiters hurt businesses, deprive the city of taxes, and rip off the consumers who buy their inferior goods."

"The actions of these offenders demonstrate that deceit and predatory practices by illegitimate operations will not be tolerated," said District Attorney Hynes. "As the holiday shopping season begins, consumers must have confidence that they will be protected from fraud."

An undercover warehouse called "D.T. Trading" was the centerpiece of Operation Hook, which began in July of 2001. Detectives from the NYPD's Trademark Infringement Unit posed as distributors of counterfeit merchandise and bought shipments of goods from known counterfeiter. The warehouse, which was on 220 Pacific Street in downtown Brooklyn, was wired with cameras, and transactions were recorded. Officers documented at least three purchases from every person arrested.

The nine arrested include Isaac Gadeh, Daniel Garfinkel, Yun Hai Wu, Oliver Ting, James Yoo, Yiu Wah Cheung, Min Choi, Manoj Manglani, and Dong Ko Cho. All were charged with Trademark Counterfeiting in the Third Degree -- Cho was charged with a C felony, the rest were charged with an E felony.

During the takedown, nine search warrants were executed on the criminals' warehouses, outlets, and residences. In addition, a variety of counterfeit merchandise was recovered with an estimated total street value of more than $700,000 dollars. This represents a loss of more than $2 million for the legitimate businesses whose brands were counterfeited. Some of the items counterfeited include: Tiffany jewelry, Gucci and Louis Vuitton handbags, Oakley sunglasses, Kangol hats, Calvin Klein underwear, Nike and Phat Farm sweatshirts, and Major League Baseball hats.

The undercover detectives paid for the counterfeit merchandise with money from the New York City Police Foundation's General Fund. The companies whose brands are counterfeited supply most of the money to the General Fund.



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