CUSTOMS DISCLOSES CATERPILLAR COUNTERFEITING CASE
The U.S. Customs Service has seized almost half a million dollars, including the arrest of one individual, for illegalities involving counterfeit technical manuals and parts for Caterpillar heavy equipment.
The arrest was made for the infringement of copyright for commercial advantage, and arose out of the manufacture and distribution of unauthorized reproductions of a licensed technical information system for Caterpillar, and the distribution of counterfeit parts.
Based on a criminal complaint filed in the case, the Customs investigation showed that the counterfeit technical information system was smuggled from India to the U.S.
Undercover Customs agents were able to penetrate the organization in India and make purchases
Although the case was based in South Carolina, it was a coordinated effort with Customs investigative offices in Los Angeles, and Columbus, Ohio. The enforcement action came after Customs agents in Columbia and Greenville, S.C., conducted a 13-month undercover investigation to target suspicious importers, manufacturers and distributors of heavy equipment parts. The U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of South Carolina will prosecute the case.
Those arrested have been charged in a criminal complaint with violations of 18 U.S.C. 2319, criminal infringement of copyright, which carries a sentence up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.