Second man admits counterfeit clothing scam in US

A New York businessman has pleaded guilty to charges that he brokered the manufacturing of counterfeit clothing destined for sale in the US.

Bernard Klein (39) of Brooklyn conspired with apparel wholesaler Ramin Kohanbash (50) and at least one other person to arrange the mass production – in China and Pakistan – of counterfeit copies of trademarked clothing.

Last year, Kohanbash admitted charges that he provided samples of military uniforms and other items to manufacturers in order to replicate and sell the knock-offs to the military and other government departments.

Among the items that Kohanbash and others arranged to counterfeit were 200 military parkas of a type used by US Air Force personnel stationed in Afghanistan.

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The parkas were falsely represented to be genuine Multicam, a fabric which uses specialised near-infrared management technology designed to make the wearer more difficult to detect with equipment such as night-vision goggles.

Other counterfeits included FREE hoods and Polartec fleece shirts, as well as PrimaLoft parkas and trousers. Test purchases by law enforcement resulted in bootleg PrimaLoft parkas and trousers being shipped to the Rhode Island National Guard in East Greenwich, with fake Polartec fleeces sent to a private business in North Kingstown, RI.

Many of the fake garments claimed to have weather-resistant and other qualities that they did not possess, said prosecutors.

Klein’s involvement in the scam was to arrange the production of the copies, after sending photographs of the goods, as well as hangtags and labels, to Kohanbash for approval.

The two conspirators instructed the manufacturers on how to fold and package the counterfeit goods, and to affix removable ‘Made in China’ stickers in order to avoid problems when shipments were inspected by US customs.

Klein is scheduled to be sentenced on December 4 of this year, while Kohanbash is due for sentencing on January 22, 2021, according to the US Attorney’s Office of the District of Rhode Island.

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