(The Hosting News) – Counterfeits goods made available online have become a recent focus of law officials in the United States. And on Monday, they remained an emphasis as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, otherwise known as ICE, swept in to shut down a number of domain names allegedly guilty of trafficking illegal products.
The Monday after Thanksgiving is known in the retail world as “Cyber Monday,” as online companies significantly discount products made available through their web presences. It was also an opportune chance to go after illegal operations.
The operation seized a total of fifteen websites containing counterfeit sporting merchandise. The move arrives as part of a large global investigation into pirated goods.
“The manufacturing and selling of “knock off” goods hurts businesses and people across a wide spectrum of our society,” explained U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. in a press release.
“Victims of these crimes include not only those who create intellectual property and the employees of the legitimate businesses who turn the ideas into products Consumers are also hurt by unknowingly obtaining inferior or potentially harmful products, as are taxpayers who are unable to rely on taxes from legitimate sales to fund programs which benefit the community. I would therefore urge all to exercise caution knowing that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Hochul continued.
In addition to the domain shutdowns, U.S. officials have taken into custody a New York man for alleged involvement.
Last year, ICE carried out a similar operation during Cyber Monday, closing a total of 150 sites carrying counterfeit goods such as DVDs, sports jerseys and sunglasses.