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Prison Time for Selling Fake Disney DVDs on eBay

US Department of Justice
Prison Time for Selling Fake Disney DVDs on eBay

Selling fakes on sites like eBay is wrong, but it’s also criminal, a fact some online sellers may ignore through willful blindness or, in some cases perhaps, financial desperation. A plea deal announced today is a reminder there can be serious consequences to dealing in counterfeits, including a prison sentence.

A Missouri couple pleaded guilty in federal court today to a scheme to smuggle counterfeit Disney DVDs into the United States and sell them on eBay.

The Department of Justice said shipments of counterfeit DVDs from companies in Hong Kong “known to sell and export counterfeit goods” were delivered to the couple’s home.

The DOJ also said during an investigation, agents contacted two people who allegedly assisted the couple in selling counterfeit DVDs on eBay. They allegedly told agents they were aware of numerous complaints from customers, including complaints that the DVDs didn’t work. According to the Grand Jury indictment in 2018, one of those people was a family member.

The indictment charged that the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the counterfeit goods sold by the defendants was approximately $2.2 million. (The government dropped numerous charges as part of the plea deal.)

According to the DOJ press release, the wife, who pleaded guilty to one felony count of criminal copyright infringement for profit, is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole.

The husband, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of criminal infringement of a copyright, is subject to a sentence of up to one year in federal prison without parole.

Making a business of selling fake Disney DVDs on eBay may jeopardize your selling account – but it could also land you in prison.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

5 thoughts on “Prison Time for Selling Fake Disney DVDs on eBay”

  1. Now go get whoever sold me the fake Soresto flea collar on Overstock which was shipped from a home in El Monte. Seems to me fake medical devices are much more serious than Disney movies or Louis Vuitton hand bags (there’s always several at my local thrift store behind the counter with other ‘valuable’ goods, but priced below $50.) Don’t check, the flea collars are no longer offered, but it wasn’t my complaint that got them taken down (at least not for a long time). Overstock sent me a standard review form to fill out after my purchase, but wouldn’t publish what I wrote. They did give me a refund.
    There were lots of YouTube videos of how to identify fake Soresto flea collars, but most were incorrect. The fakes are so good you can’t tell by looking at the cans or the instructions. It’s the serial numbers that gave it away. The one on the can must match the one on the collar. In my case, it seems all the fake collars had the same ID, while the one’s on the cans were unique (Soresto gave me that tip on the telly).

    1. ZZ,
      Good info. Is your dog ok? I bought my fake seresto collars from ebay. 4 of them. All 4 of my dogs got sick, I had a huge vet bill and my oldest guy nearly died. That was 5 years ago and bless their hearts they’re all gone now but I never used seresto again and never will. I contacted ebay and Bayer who makes seresto and I got no help whatsoever. Sad because I was happy with the collars until that happened. I have a couple younger dogs now and they’ll never wear seresto. Our dogs are small guys, Maltese now but back then I had yorkie, cairn terrier, Maltese and yorkie cairn mix. They were/are my babies and I will never endanger them. I don’t even trust dog food anymore. As I write this, I’m cooking for my fur babies. I hope your dog is ok. I’m really sorry you had this experience.

      1. “Just Food for Dogs”….. I now make my own dog food and my dog Is healthier than ever. I receive emails on contaminated dog food on a regular basis and it’s frightening how much bad dog food there is. I’m done with all that….I do not trust any corporation anymore, much less some “two bit” seller from any website.

        “Fake” and “Contaminated” is everywhere. Buyers should be skeptical..ALWAYS.

  2. If only they, and eBay, would go after the hundreds of sellers on eBay boldly selling fake US Postage Forever stamps. In and outside of the US. And, check this seller, something very odd here: southgatepacknship
    How can they stay in business selling $70 worth of wifi pci boards for .99 cents that they purchased from and had dropped shipped from Amazon?

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