U.S. Department of Justice - CyberCrime.gov Archived

Trademark - U.S. v. Lee (D. Haw.)

*Press Release* *For Immediate Release* *December 9, 1999*


*(DECEMBER 9, 1999)*

A federal grand jury today charged KENT AOKI LEE with wire fraud and trademark violations growing out of his operation of a pirated Internet website, and with selling Viagra over the Internet without a prescription.

Lee, 37, of Honolulu, was charged with copying the authorized website of the Honolulu Marathon Association, a non-profit organization which organizes the annual marathon. According to U.S. Attorney Steven Alm, the Honolulu Marathon Association maintains an authorized website at "www.honolulumarathon.org," which provides race information and history, and allows residents of the United States to register for the race on-line. Residents of Japan, however, are directed to register for the race at an office which the Honolulu Marathon Association maintains in Japan.

The indictment charges that Lee copied the authorized website and created his own website at "www.honolulumarathon.com." Lee included the "Honolulu Marathon" tradename and the King's Runner logo, both of which are registered trademarks of the Honolulu Marathon Association.

According to the indictment, Lee claimed the pirated website was the official Honolulu Marathon website, and included a Japanese language section which claimed to offer Japanese runners the chance to register on-line. The pirated website charged a registration fee of $165 -- $100 more than the true registration fee -- and offered to provide runners with a course tour, transportation and a pre-race meal.

The indictment alleges that fourteen persons in Japan sent e-mails to Lee as a result of his actions.

Lee was also charged with selling these services through the use of counterfeit marks which he copied from the authorized website. The pirated website was taken off-line as a result of the federal investigation.

The indictment also charges that Lee operated a separate website where he sold Viagra over the Internet without a prescription.

The indictment is just an accusation, and Lee is presumed innocent until proven guilty. He will appear in federal court for an arraignment and plea, and a trial date will be set.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Tong.


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