NORFOLK, Va. (WRIC) — Almost $2,000,000 worth of counterfeit diabetic socks were seized by United States Customs and Border Protection officers in Virginia after they were found to be in violation of trademark protections.
The nearly 120,000 pairs of counterfeit cotton foot coverings had been shipped in 579 boxes from Turkey and were on their way to an address near Washington D.C. when customs agents found the socks to be violating the “Seal of Cotton” trademark protections.
Customs officers inspected the shipment of “Hugh Ugoli” branded diabetic foot coverings on June 20, and detained the suspected fake goods the next day to verify the authenticity of the trademarks on the packaging.
The release stated that photos and documentation of the socks were then sent to trade experts used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a final decision on the authenticity and an appraisal of the shipment. Trade experts came to the decision that the socks were indeed counterfeit and in violation of the “Seal of Cotton” trademark.
“The sheer volume of this counterfeit diabetic sock shipment is alarming. Any level of substandard manufacturing, especially of these specialty socks, seriously endangers the health and well-being of our most vulnerable citizens who rely on them for comfort and blood circulation,” said Mark Laria, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Norfolk-Newport News.
According to a release by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “Consumer goods bearing the Seal of Cotton trademark are certified to be manufactured according to stringent international manufacturing and safety standards.”
The entire shipment of counterfeit diabetic socks was then seized by U.S. Customs. An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and as of yet, nobody has been criminally charged.