Jericho man arrested and charged for allegedly storing and selling the jackets
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Jericho man has been arrested for allegedly storing and selling tens of thousands of counterfeit The North Face jackets.
Rahul Biswas, aka Kazi Aziz, 56, was arraigned yesterday before District Court Judge Joseph Girardi on one count of Trademark Counterfeiting in the First Degree (a C felony). Bail was set at $100,000 cash or bond and the defendant was ordered to surrender any passports he has in any other names. Biswas is due back in court March 6 and faces up to five to 15 years if convicted.
“Counterfeit products can pose unseen safety threats to those who purchase them, and the trafficking of cheap knockoffs causes harm to consumers, trademark holders, their employees and families,” said DA Singas. “This defendant allegedly imported tens of thousands of counterfeit jackets with an estimated street value of more than $1,000,000. Working with our federal law enforcement partners we will aggressively protect consumers in Nassau County.”
DA Singas said that NCDA investigators, in conjunction with the United States Department of Homeland Security, executed two search warrants on March 2 at storage space inside of an Old Bethpage warehouse and the defendant’s Jericho office where he also resides. Biswas operates a business called TRB Designs and Resources, Inc. and neither the company nor the defendant are authorized as a The North Face distributor or retailer.
During the execution of the warrants, DA investigators seized more than 20,000 counterfeit jackets that were shipped to the New York area from Bangladesh. Investigators also located two Bangladeshi passports, one in Biswas’ name and another in an alias, as well as business and shipping records.
According to industry experts who were authorized to assist law enforcement in executing the warrant at the warehouse, the counterfeit jackets are of inferior quality and do not provide the warmth of genuine jackets. The counterfeits sell for approximately one half to one third the cost of the genuine product.
The defendant is accused of allegedly importing the jackets and selling them to other distributors.
In the past two years, the NCDA and our federal partners have seized nearly 80,000 counterfeit The North Face products.
“These seizures by U.S. Customs and Border Protection provided the critical link to an ongoing investigation that resulted in the takedown of an elaborate criminal enterprise,” said Leon Hayward, Acting Director of the DHS New York Field Office. “It is through our interagency partnerships, and collaborative approaches like the one leading to today’s arrests, that law enforcement successfully combats modern criminal organizations.”
“This is another example of someone making a quick buck off the backs of the American people. Counterfeiting negatively affects every level of a legitimate business, from the store front to the executive suite,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI New York. “HSI has remained committed to protecting law abiding business owners by working with our partners in law enforcement to investigate and prosecute counterfeiters.”
This case is being prosecuted by ADA Lauren Littman of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau. NCDA Investigator William Gillespie led the investigation. Biswas is represented by Legal Aid.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.