A couple in Southern California has been ordered to pay $1 million in fines for selling counterfeit Tide detergent. Husband and wife Marvin Santiago Caceres and Nancy Flores were charged with 4, 910 violations of the Unfair Competition Law by selling counterfeit Proctor & Gamble laundry detergents and dish soaps that were falsely labeled as popular brands such as Tide, Gain, Downey and Dawn in several cities throughout Southern California. A search warrant was issued to the couples’ home where several buckets of the fake detergent was found.
The injunction that was issued on the couple prohibits the couple from possessing or selling counterfeit goods or being employed by any business in the state of California related to the sale, storage, or possession of detergent and soap.
In California, the penalties for selling counterfeit goods as a misdemeanor can carry these consequences (under typical circumstances):
- Misdemeanor probation (AKA summary probation)
- Up to one year in county jail and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000 for individuals and $200,000 for businesses entities.
But, if the number of goods sold exceeds 1,000 or the value of the goods being sold is over $950 (as in this case), the offense becomes a wobbler and the person can be charged with a felony. If charged as a felony, under Penal Code 350, the penalties can include;
- Felony probation
- 16 months to 3 years in county jail and/or
- A fine of up to $500,000 for individuals and $1,000,000 for businesses entities
On top of that, the court will force the offenders for forfeit all of their assets used. This includes of all the counterfeit marks and goods that bear them, any materials or machines used to manufacture or assemble the counterfeit goods, and any vehicles used to transport them.
If you or anyone you know has been charged with violating PC 350, contact us 24 hours a day at (310) 448-1529 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Westwood, and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.