WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal authorities have shut down 150 websites accused of selling knock-off or pirated merchandise to unsuspecting online bargain hunters.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer announced the results of the ICE and FBI three-month investigation on "Cyber Monday," the day that for many shoppers kicks off the online holiday shopping season.
The government seized the domain names for the sites that sold everything from fake replica NBA jerseys to replica Louis Vuitton handbags and imitation Ugg boots.
The federal government has seized the domain names of 350 websites since first targeting online counterfeiters in June 2010. Each investigation, Morton said, has grown.
Earlier this year five people were indicted in Virginia on conspiracy and copyright infringement charges for their roles in operating a website that the Justice Department said allowed people to illegally download high-quality movies and television shows.
Four people accused of running NinjaVideo.net have pleaded guilty. A fifth person is being sought.
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