Counterfeiting with Criminal Implications

Posted on March 25th, 2014 by J. Britt PhillipsJ. Britt Phillips

We previously reported on a verdict and an appellate decision involving counterfeiting and trademark violations. However, the counterfeiting and infringement previously reported was dealing with civil penalties involving millions of dollars. Now, money is not the real issue. It is the criminal implication.

In this case, as reported by the Claims Journal, a federal judge in Wichita, Kansas sentenced a businesswoman to 5 years probation and a $25,000 fine. Reportedly, Glenda Sue Morgan’s business was raided in January 2011 where thousands of counterfeit items were seized. The value of these items was approximately $1.5 million, if the items had been authentic. But, they weren’t. Law enforcement officials confiscated the items and warned Morgan. Surprisingly, Morgan was not charged.

This “free pass” did not deter Morgan from her lawlessness. She continued selling counterfeit goods and was caught 2 years later with more counterfeit items. Morgan ultimately avoided jail, but faces 5 years of probation and a payment plan for her fine.

While this case did not have the large fine as our other reported case, it shows the other side of infringing conduct. Millions of dollars owed versus a smaller fine and the potential for years behind bars. You choose which is worse.