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
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.