Moose Knuckles awarded $52 million in counterfeit parka lawsuit
Moose Knuckles, a Canadian based outerwear brand, won a legal battle with 33 websites accused of selling counterfeit jackets. A federal judge awarded the company $52 million in total. There were 26 defendants in the case, with each being ordered to pay Moose Knuckles $2 million in damages. It seems all of the companies selling these counterfeit items were operating overseas, and none have yet responded to the lawsuit. Damages could be recovered from the PayPal accounts associated with the defendants.
Noah Stern, CEO, says the lawsuit was not necessarily about the money, but rather to protect customers from being duped into buying the fake items. Many of the websites appeared to operate under names that made them appear to be legitimate retailers of Moose Knuckles branded products. One such site had the domain “mooseknucklesca.org”. Customers are encouraged to check authorized retailers from the official website before attempting to buy products. Customers can also verify purchases through their website by using the unique identifying number tagged onto each product. [For more: Chicago Tribune]
Crime Stoppers tip leads police to career criminal wanted in store heist
A tipster helped cops zero in on a homeless career criminal who kicked and pistol-whipped a gutsy medical supply store worker last week, police said Tuesday night. Police have charged Shamrock Gamble, 55 — a suspected drug dealer who’s served time for robbery and attempted murder — with the brutal heist. Cops said a Crime Stoppers tip led to his capture. Gamble is accused of busting into Belmont Medical & Surgical Supply in Brownsville with a gun and battling two women inside before making off with a paltry $80.
The 40-second struggle is caught on a dramatic security cam — store worker Oksana Aulova, 28, wouldn’t back down, even as he kicked her with his work boots. She grabbed for his gun and tried to kick him in the crotch. “I kept fighting with him. I kept screaming. I kept kicking. He hit me in the head twice with his gun,” the 5-foot, 115-pound Aulova told the Daily News after the attack. Her co-worker took $80 of her own money out of her purse, and the crook fled when Aulova reached for a stun gun she keeps in the store. Gamble was out on $1,000 cash bail at the time of the attack, released on Jan. 29, three days after his arrest on drug dealing and possession charges in Brooklyn. [For more: New York Daily News]
LP Worldwide: Would-be robber killed in Durban mall jewelry heist
(South Africa) A man suspected of attempting to rob a jewelry store was killed after getting into a shootout with the owner. Police believe the man was part of a group that attacked the store, located inside of a shopping mall. The owner engaged the suspects in a firefight that left bullets peppering the walls. One bystander claimed a bullet came within meters of hitting him in the head.
Paramedics were called as the suspect lay bleeding out behind a counter. The suspect suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and emergency personnel tried for approximately 20 minutes to save him, before declaring him dead at the scene. It is unclear how many suspects were in the group or how many remain at large. [For more: Times Live]
“Operation Nip Tuck” credit card scheme ringleader convicted of fraud
A 28-year-old woman charged with masterminding a scheme to use stolen identities to pay for tens of thousands of dollars worth of plastic surgery and dental work has been convicted of fraud. Terilyn Riggins was arrested in January 2016 as part of Operation Nip-Tuck, which netted more than a dozen other arrests, officials said Riggins was the one who set up the fraudulent accounts and lines of credit using stolen identities from at least 12 people, her arrest warrant said.
Police said the group of women involved in the scheme took advantage of the scheme to get everything from breast implants to gold teeth. In all, medical businesses and credit companies were taken for nearly $200,000, investigators said. Workers at Paradise Dental eventually figured out one of the women were using someone else’s information and contacted Detective Tom Herb. Herb said on top of the dental work, the woman also got breast implants using stolen credit.
Police said another woman had liposuction done with stolen credit information. Constantly, you would see them on Facebook and Instagram showing their pictures just a few days after their surgery,” Herb said at the time of the arrests. Riggins received a thigh lift and scar cream treatments in 2015 and had dental work done at a Seminole County business, officials said. The 28-year-old was convicted on four charges in the case; she pleaded not guilty to six other. [For more: WFTV9 News]
Judge defends suspended sentences in $160K credit card fraud
A Salem, Massachusetts, Superior Court judge on Wednesday defended his decision not to order any jail time for two women charged with using forged credit cards to go on a 10-month, $160,000 shopping spree. “I was informed that Ms. (Carolin) Leonardo has four minor children that she is responsible for,” said Judge Timothy Feeley during a sentencing hearing where he also sparred with a prosecutor who was seeking to have the judge order at least some restitution.
Leonardo, 35, of Central Falls, Rhode Island, was one of two women charged after Peabody police got a call from Long’s Jewelers, where Leonardo and co-defendant Ylka Acosta were attempting to purchase a Rolex watch. The pair had been turned away from the chain’s Burlington store after trying to buy a Rolex there, prosecutor Phil Mallard said, and days before that, had purchased one at the Natick location, using what turned out to be a forged credit card. But that was just the tip of the iceberg for the pair, who are believed to have used 30 to 40 stolen credit card numbers, printed on fake credit cards, at high-end stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s, Gucci, and Burberry. The women bought pricey handbags, sunglasses, and belts, and a set of Louis Vuitton luggage, among other luxury goods, said the prosecutor.
Investigators believe that most of the items, which also included numerous 4K televisions, sound equipment and gift cards, were then turned over to
Feeley repeatedly suggested that the two women were simply low-level “runners,” at the bottom of the pyramid of a sophisticated scheme — while at the same time acknowledging that they were “equally guilty” as their unidentified higher-ups. “It was they who effected the scheme,” the judge said. Feeley, however, told the lawyers that he was not going to consider the request on Wednesday, saying that they could schedule a hearing for another day. [For more: The Salem News]
Soccer treasurer charged with theft
A former volunteer treasurer of the Freehold Soccer League was charged Wednesday with allegedly stealing more than $450,000 to pay bills, eat at restaurants and go shopping, the county prosecutor said. Anthony Gallo, 57, of Freehold Township, was charged with one count of second-degree theft, said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni. If convicted, Gramiccioni said Gallo faces up to 10 years in state prison.
Gallo, who had access to the league’s financials, was accused of using the team’s operating account to write checks to himself, his company, Beacon Financial Services, and withdrawing cash – in total, allegedly taking more than $300,000 without permission, Gramiccioni said. In addition to the $300,000, Gramiccioni said Gallo made “numerous” ATM withdrawals totaling more than $120,000 from the league’s account. With the allegedly stolen money, Gramiccioni said Gallo paid for about $25,000 worth of personal expenses. The expenses included $12,000 of Verizon Wireless bill payments, thousands of dollars spent at Honda of Freehold, other household bills, restaurant tabs and shopping charges. Gallo was released pending a future court date, Gramiccioni said. [For more: Asbury Park Press]
Hudson’s Bay’s bid for Macy’s stumbles
Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Co, owner of the Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue retail chains, has yet to line up equity financing for a bid for Macy’s over a month after approaching its US peer, people familiar with the matter said. Hudson’s Bay’s challenges in putting together a firm offer are a blow to the ambitions of its majority owner and executive chairman Richard Baker, who built a retail empire relying on real estate financing as much as his knowledge of the retail sector.
To mount a credible offer for Macy’s, which has a market capitalization of more than $10 billion, Baker has been seeking to raise equity and debt financing for Hudson’s Bay, which has a market value of C$2.2 billion ($1.64 billion), the sources said this week. However, Hudson’s Bay’s existing equity partners, including mall operator Simon Property Group, have been reluctant to back Hudson’s Bay’s bid for Macy’s, which would require them to invest more money in mall real estate, even as consumers continue to abandon them in favor of internet shopping. [For more: Reuters]