FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, MS-Mississippi’s crackdown on counterfeit products has been launched with the arrest of a Kentucky man accused of shipping counterfeit clothing to Mississippi, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.
Jerry Best, Senior (age 57), of 7919 Windgate Drive in Louisville, Kentucky, turned himself in to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office on April 1, 2009, after learning that he was wanted by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, Division of Consumer Protection, for two counts of communication fraud in violation of ?97-19-83.
Best Sr. is accused of selling counterfeit merchandise, specifically Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, on Ebay and shipping the counterfeit merchandise by the United States Postal Service to a victim in the State of Mississippi and representing the shirts as authentic name-brand merchandise.
“We worked closely with Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and his office on this case,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “Their assistance resulted in this defendant turning himself in to face these charges and we are thankful for that.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to work with General Hood on this investigation,” General Conway said. “We have many issues in our office that often cross state lines, and it’s always helpful to have the assistance of our counterparts in other states to protect consumers and coordinate successful investigations.”
Best Sr. was released on a $10,000 bond ($5,000 each count). A court date has not yet been set in the case.
“This case is a good example of how our new law (HB 874 Counterfeit Products), which goes into effect July 1, is going to strengthen our ability to prosecute for trademark violations,” said Attorney General Hood. ” In the future, on cases involving counterfeit products with a retail value of $1,000 or more, we will be able to charge the defendant with a felony.”
If convicted, Best, Sr. faces a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, on each count. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.