Portland, OR–A Portland man was sentenced in federal court Wednesday to four months in prison followed by three years supervised release for selling counterfeit Nike sneakers online and laundering his proceeds.
The case is the result of a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS CI).
According to court documents, James Pepion offered rare Nike sneakers for sale on the website Get-Supplied.com and through related businesses, including Supplied, Inc., and SwagSupply, Inc. using online platforms such as Instagram, eBay, and Shopify.
Although Pepion acquired many of the limited-edition sneakers he resold through legitimate channels, he also imported counterfeit versions of some sneakers directly from black market sources in China, selling them as authentic Nike footwear to unwitting buyers. These fraudulent sales triggered numerous complaints to Nike as well as to the defendant.
Between June 2013 and September 2015, Pepion wired $174,460.00 to sellers in China, almost all of which was for counterfeit shoes and packaging. Pepion combined the proceeds of the sales of these counterfeit Nike sneakers with the proceeds of sales of authentic sneakers in various financial accounts in order to conceal the illegal source of much of his income.
Pepion previously pleaded guilty to one count each of trafficking in counterfeit goods and money laundering on Friday, June 30, 2017.
The case was prosecuted by Ryan Bounds and Julia Jarrett, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon. A restitution hearing has been scheduled for July 9.