Ohio man gets prison time for fake sports merch

A man from Toledo, Ohio, has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for trafficking in counterfeit goods, including caps, jerseys and footwear of major sports brands.

Shane Burdue (46) was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release and pay a little over $4,000 in restitution to the Coalition to Advance Protection of Sports Logos (CAPS), a group that coordinates civil and criminal trademark protection and enforcement efforts for the sports sector.

Burdue began receiving international shipments, which included counterfeit goods infringing trademarks from the likes of Nike, Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and National Football League (NFL, in July 2014, according to court documents.

Between then and 2023 more than 800 international shipments, mostly from China, were sent to various addresses associated with Burdue in Toledo, some of which were seized by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and led to CAPS sending cease-and-desist letters to Burdue.

Despite those, he continued to sell counterfeit merchandise at different physical locations in Toledo, as well as online through the social media platform Facebook, on which he set up multiple accounts, moving to a new one each time one was deactivated for violating the social media platform’s policy on counterfeit sales.

A raid at his “Shane’s Man Cave business in May 2023  netted hundreds of counterfeit items worth around $29,000 at manufacturer’s suggested retail prices, although it is not clear how much he may have made from the illicit activities in the years he was active.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said that counterfeit goods can pose safety hazards for both consumers and workers due to a lack of regulatory oversight, and have also been linked to child labour, forced labour, and other criminal activities.

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