Operation Broken Hearted: A Valentine’s Day Counterfeit Crackdown

February 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

In honor of Valentine’s Day, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement led a huge online seizure of domain names selling counterfeit accessories. The customs agents previously bought counterfeit bracelets, earrings, handbags, rings, sunglasses, wallets and watched from sites and later determined that many of the sites sold fakes. Titled appropriately as Operation Broken Hearted, it was meant to protect consumers from counterfeit Valentine’s Day products. As a result of the investigation, 18 websites’ domain names were seized without any previous warning in order to save valentines from buying fakes for their sweethearts.

“Even on Valentine’s day, American business is under assault from counterfeiters and pirates,” said ICE Director John Morton. “These counterfeits represent a triple threat by delivering shoddy, and sometimes dangerous, goods into commerce, by funding organized criminal activities and by denying Americans good-paying jobs. HSI and our partners at the IPR Center will continue to work together to keep counterfeit products off our streets.”


Operation Broken Hearted was the fourth phase of Operation In Our Sites, an ongoing investigation that started last year. We look forward to seeing the outcome of ICE’s undercover investigations.

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Counterfeit Operations Becoming Increasingly Sophisticated

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

A recent raid in Los Angeles this month by the L.A. Port Police led to a seizure of over $10 million in Apple Inc. products. Through deep investigation, authorities unveiled the sophisticated warehouse operation. Chief of the L.A. Port Police force told the Los Angeles Times this week, “This was a well-funded operation, and the counterfeits looked very authentic.” The goods were shipped from Asia and arrived to the United States in parts then assembled here and labeled appropriately.

(Image taken from LA Times article)

The Los Angeles Times stated that the Port of Los Angeles and the neighboring Port of Long Beach make up the nation’s busiest harbor for trade with Asia. This is where law enforcement works the hardest to stop counterfeits from entering the country. This particular investigation not only involved L.A. Port Police, but the Department of Homeland Security and Border Enforcement Security Task Force as well. We have said many times that counterfeiters are getting smarter at their criminal business. It is taking multiple government agencies to crack down on more sophisticated, well thought out operations such as this one.

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