RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The recent arrest of a Queens County, NY, automotive parts wholesaler on trademark counterfeiting is being lauded by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).
“This arrest is another step in stemming trade in counterfeit automotive parts and products,” said Paul Foley, executive director of MEMA’s Brand Protection Council. “These fake parts can pose a serious safety threat on the nation’s highways and roads — as well as threatening American workers’ jobs and costing suppliers approximately $12 billion in lost sales annually. We commend Queens County District Attorney (DA) Richard Brown, Taxi and Limousine Commission Chair Matthew Daus and Mark Sparschu, Ford Motor Co.’s Trademark Division counsel, for aggressively pursuing this case.”
The case involves a wholesale parts dealer already under indictment for trademark counterfeiting. According to a release from the Queens County DA’s office, truckloads of counterfeit Ford auto parts were seized with an estimated wholesale value in excess of $1 million and a retail value of millions more.
“The defendant is alleged to have been operating a thriving business dealing in counterfeit Ford Motor Co. auto parts all packaged, labeled and distributed as Ford manufacturer-quality replacement parts,” said Queens County DA Brown, in the office’s announcement of the arrests.
“Operations such as that allegedly run by the defendant fuel an underground economy. They are cash businesses that pay no taxes,” Brown continued. “They rip off both the consumer and the industry. And perhaps most importantly, they put an inferior product into the marketplace that jeopardizes the safety of the riding public. Many of these parts, for example, end up in the New York City taxi and limousine fleet and present significant safety hazards.”
“Ford is dedicated to ensuring and safeguarding its original and authentic parts in an effort to protect consumers from unknowingly obtaining illegally replicated parts,” said Joe Wiegand, manager of Global Brand Protection for Ford. “Many men and women at Ford and the District Attorney’s Office spent countless hours investigating this counterfeiting operation in order to bring the offenders to justice and remove the illegal parts from the market. We thank the District Attorney for his dedication and continued cooperation.”