[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

The Department of Justice has seized more than $1.5 million in proceeds from the distribution of counterfeit sports apparel and jerseys as the result of an investigation into the sale of counterfeit goods on commercial websites. The investigation also resulted in the seizure of three domain names used in the sale of counterfeit sports apparel.  The funds were seized from interbank accounts and six money service business accounts.

The developments are the latest result of Operation In Our Sites, a law enforcement initiative targeting online commercial intellectual property crime announced by ICE’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in June 2010.  Operation In Our Sites targeted online retailers of a diverse array of counterfeit goods, including sports equipment, shoes, handbags, athletic apparel, sunglasses and DVD boxed sets.  To date, 761 domain names of websites used in the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and illegal copyrighted works have been seized as a result of Operation In Our Sites.

Additionally, last month, the Department of Justice seized more than $896,000 in proceeds from the sale of counterfeit sports apparel on commercial websites as part of Operation In Our Sites.

The investigation was conducted by the National Intellectual Property Rights Center and ICE-HSI.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Hooks and Diane Lucas of the District of Columbia, Senior Trial Attorney Pamela Hicks and Trial Attorney Katharine Wagner of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section and Trial Attorney Thomas Dougherty of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

This enforcement action is part of a Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property (IP Task Force) undertaking.