MINEOLA, N.Y. –Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that more than 50,000 winter coats and about 1,000 pairs of jeans will be tested for possible donation to the needy after a Hicksville retailer pleaded guilty today to importing the counterfeit goods.
Haryash Paul, 64, was arrested by DA investigators in December 2015 after a joint investigation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations New York. He pleaded guilty today before Nassau County District Court Part 9 Judge Judge Martin Massell to Attempted Trademark Counterfeiting in the 1st Degree (a D felony) and Trademark Counterfeiting in the 2nd Degree (an E felony).
State law requires not-for-profit recipients of donated counterfeit clothing to inspect or pay for the inspection of clothing to “ensure that [it is] in a condition consistent with federal consumer safety standards,” but prosecutors in this case are requiring the defendant to pay for the expense of independent testing. Paul will also have to pay for the post-search-warrant storage fees for the tens of thousands of articles of clothing. Paul will receive a three-year conditional discharge if he complies with all the conditions of the plea; he faces six months in jail and five years of probation if he does not.
If the coats and jeans are found to be safe for distribution, they will be given to not-for-profit organizations that have experience in collecting and donating such clothing.
“It’s not often that we get the opportunity to help so many people in need as the result of a criminal disposition,” DA Singas said. “I hope that this clothing will pass safety testing so that thousands of people who need a winter coat or a pair of jeans will be able to get them.”
“Mr. Paul’s guilty plea sends a strong message to those who attempt to profit by selling counterfeit products to consumers, that there is a steep price to pay for their greed” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge HSI New York. “Fortunately we have been able to take one mans greed and turn it around by donating these clothes to the needy if they pass the necessary safety testing.”
Pursuant to New York State General Business Law, notice will be given to The North Face and True Religion – the victims of the counterfeiting – of the intention to donate the seized products to help “indigent individuals and that the donation[s] will proceed unless [The North Face or True Religion] object to the donation[s], in writing” within 30 days.
DA Singas said that NCDA Investigators, working with the assistance of United States Customs and Border Protection, United States Homeland Security Investigations and the Allegiance Protection Group, Inc., executed a search warrant at warehouse facilities located at 230 Engineers Drive in Hicksville. DA Investigators seized more than 50,000 counterfeit The North Face jackets and about 1,000 pairs of counterfeit True Religion jeans which were shipped to the New York area from Bangladesh.
It is estimated that the coats seized in this case have a street value in excess of $2 million. The seized coats are in multiple styles, adult sizes and colors.
The defendant, who operates Manhattan-based Glamour Line Inc., was arrested at the warehouse by DA Investigators.
The case is being prosecuted by Chief Diane Peress and Assistant District Attorney Abigail Malone of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau. Paul is represented by Jeffrey Einhorn, Esq.