Couple smuggled a whole lot of pretend Disney DVDs from China to promote on eBay, feds say

Couple smuggled a whole lot of pretend Disney DVDs from China to promote on eBay, feds say

Couple smuggled a whole lot of pretend Disney DVDs from China to promote on eBay, feds say

A husband and spouse had been selling counterfeit Disney DVDs on eBay — they usually made a “substantial revenue” doing so, in accordance with federal authorities.

That was till the couple from Columbia, Missouri, was caught smuggling a whole lot of the pretend DVDs from firms in China, authorities stated in a Feb. 8 information launch.

Tabitha Nicole Rodgers, 43, was not too long ago sentenced within the Western District of Missouri to 4 years in federal jail with out parole, in accordance with courtroom information. She’s additionally ordered to pay $26,573 in restitution after authorities stated she obtained Supplemental Diet Help Program (SNAP) advantages that she was not entitled to.

Her husband, 49-year-old Clint Travis Rodgers, was beforehand sentenced to a 12 months in jail with out parole.

Tabitha Rodgers had pleaded responsible in October 2021 to a felony rely of prison copyright infringement for revenue, officers stated. That very same day, Clint Rodgers pleaded responsible to a misdemeanor rely of prison infringement of a copyright.

The protection attorneys representing the Rodgerses didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from McClatchy Information on Feb. 9.

An investigation into the Rodgerses started in July 2014, when Homeland Safety Investigations obtained a tip from the Nationwide Mental Property Rights Coordination Middle, in accordance with the discharge. The tip stated “Clint Rodgers had obtained greater than 443 shipments of counterfeit DVDs from firms in Hong Kong identified to promote and export counterfeit items.”

Two shipments had been seized earlier than they made it to the Rodgerses’ house, officers stated. HSI brokers discovered 200 counterfeit “Magnificence and the Beast” DVDs in one of many shipments and 260 counterfeit “Aladdin” DVDs within the second cargo.

In February 2015, brokers with Customs and Border Safety seized one other package deal headed to the Rodgerses’ house, authorities stated. It had 200 extra counterfeit Disney DVDs.

Undercover HSI brokers bought Disney DVDs, together with “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid,” from eBay accounts related to the couple in 2015, in accordance with courtroom information.

“The Rodgers represented that the DVDs had been real and genuine Disney merchandise, when in actuality, they had been conscious the merchandise had been counterfeit,” authorities stated.

As a part of the investigation, federal brokers discovered two individuals who helped the Rodgerses in promoting the DVDs when the couple’s personal accounts had been canceled “because of counterfeit merchandise being offered,” in accordance with courtroom information.

“They instructed brokers they had been conscious of quite a few complaints from clients, together with complaints that the DVDs didn’t work,” officers stated.

Investigators executed a search warrant on the Rodgerses’ house in August 2015, the place they discovered “an assortment of counterfeit items, together with quite a few counterfeit Disney DVDs,” in accordance with the discharge.

Tabitha Rodgers admitted that the couple was promoting counterfeit Disney merchandise as if they had been actual, in accordance with courtroom information.

“Tabitha Rodgers admitted that she performed the day-to-day operation of the enterprise,” officers stated. “She corresponded by way of electronic mail with the counterfeit DVD provider in Hong Kong and positioned orders for the DVDs. She additionally packaged and despatched the DVDs to clients and processed buyer complaints when DVDs had been inoperable. Clint Rodgers assisted by serving to recruit third events to make use of their eBay accounts to promote the DVDs for them.”

Columbia is about 125 miles southeast of Kansas Metropolis.

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