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Trademark - U.S. v. Dipadova (Ford) (N.D.S.C.)

Press Release
For Immediate Release
January 29, 2001

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Northern District South Carolina
1441 Main Street, Suite 500
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 929-3000


 Two Indicted and Arrested in South Carolina for Trafficking in Counterfeit Luxury Goods over www.fakegifts.com Web Site


            Mark Dipadova, 35, and Theresa Gayle Ford, 36, of Lancaster, South Carolina, have been charged in a federal indictment with trafficking in luxury goods such as Rolex and Cartier watches that bore counterfeit trademarks, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, the federal conspiracy statute, and Section 2320, the trademark infringement statute.  In addition to one count of conspiracy and three counts of trademark infringement, Dipadova and Ford have each been charged in the indictment with one count of making false statements to federal agents in connection with the investigation, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.  The indictment was returned by the federal grand jury on January 17, 2001.

            Mr. Josey stated the maximum penalty each defendant could receive on the conspiracy charge is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment of 5 years.  On the three trademark infringement counts, each defendant faces up to $2 million in fines and/or 10 years imprisonment for each count.  On the false statement counts, each defendant faces a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment of 5 years.  Mr Josey emphasized that the indictment contains allegations against the defendants and that they are presumed innocent.

            Mr. Josey stated that both defendants were arrested on January 22 and they made an initial appearance in federal court on January 23, 2001.  Ms. Ford has been released on a $100,000 unsecured bond.  Mr. Dipadova is being held pending satisfaction of a $100,000 fully secured bond.

            Mr. Josey stated that the case was investigated by agents of the United States Customs service in cooperation with industry investigators, and that he has assigned Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean  A. Eichelberger of the Columbia office for prosecution.


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