|For Immediate Release
Case # 11NF1191 July 15, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAN SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON FOR ILLEGALLY IMPORTING COUNTERFEIT DISNEY PINS FROM CHINA TO SELL OVER THE INTERNET
*Co-defendant was sentenced to one year in jail and three years formal probation
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to eight years in state prison and ordered to pay $201,000 in restitution for illegally importing counterfeit collectible Disney pins from China and selling them over the Internet. Larry James Allred, 58, Walnut, pleaded guilty to a court offer to one felony count of trademark infringement with sentencing enhancements for property loss of over $200,000. He has a 1975 prior strike conviction for rape and a 1978 prior strike conviction for kidnapping and rape.
Co-defendant Robert Edward Smyrak, 54, Anaheim, pleaded guilty Sept. 29, 2011, to one felony count of trademark infringement. He was sentenced to one year in jail, three years of formal probation, and ordered to pay restitution.
Between January 2010 and April 2011, Allred and Smyrak ran a fraudulent operation sending genuine collectible Disney pins to a manufacturer in China to be replicated and shipped back to them. Allred and Smyrak sold the counterfeit pins over the Internet while passing them off as collectibles.
Smyrak and Allred sold nearly one million counterfeit items on Internet auction sites in bulk quantities, averaging less than $1 per pin. The retail price of authentic Disney collectible pins range from $6.95 to $14.95.
In February 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists uncovered the fraudulent operation when they intercepted a parcel at Los Angeles International Airport addressed to Smyrak containing more than 150 pounds of counterfeit Disney pins.
Smyrak and Allred were arrested April 14, 2011, by the Anaheim Police Department (APD). At the time of their arrest, Smyrak and Allred were in possession of more than 91,000 counterfeit pins.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and APD.
Deputy District Attorney Chuck Lawhorn of the White Collar Crime Team prosecuted this case.