Latvian national faces $ 4.5 million fine and jail time for letters of marque scheme
- Law firms
- Related documents
- Viktors Suhorukovs urged brand owners to send him renewal fees
- Its “Patent and Trademark Office LLC” confused the PTO
- Suhorukovs received over $ 1.2 million from over 900 payments
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(Reuters) – A South Carolina federal judge sentenced a Latvian citizen to more than four years in prison and fined him more than $ 4.5 million in restitution after pleading guilty to mail fraud for instigating trademark owners to send him payments for the US patent and trademark Office, the US Department of Justice said.
Viktors Suhorukovs, 37, sent fake letter trademark owners from his companies “Patent and Trademark Office LLC” and “Patent and Trademark Bureau LLC” lying about the expiration of their registrations, then charged them inflated prices for supposedly renew them, the DOJ said in a statement. declaration Wednesday.
Suhorukovs was unable to renew the registrations because they were not yet ready for renewal and because he is not a licensed attorney in the United States, the statement said.
Suhorukov ‘ charge for mail fraud last year in Greenville, SC, the federal court said it received more than $ 1.2 million out of more than 900 payments between 2017 and 2020. The Justice Department said it identified more of 2,900 victims of the scheme in his statement.
False solicitations from private companies have been a current problem for the power take-off.
“Trademark scams are a growing international problem, with foreign entities increasingly targeting US citizens with deceptive solicitations,” PTO Trademark Commissioner David Gooder said in the statement. “We are committed to rigorously protecting all users of our world-class trademark registry and are delighted to be working with law enforcement to achieve a result like the one in this case. “
Lawyers for Suhorukovs Arkady Bukh and George Grosso of law firm Bukh and Alex Kornfeld of Alex Kornfeld Attorney at Law did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case began after a woman from Greenville reported to local police that she had been deceived by the scheme, according to a Homeland Security officer. affidavit. Suhorukovs was arrested in New York last February.
US Assistant Prosecutor Winston Marosek continued the case.
U.S. District Judge Donald Coggins presided.
The case is United States v. Suhorukovs, US District Court for the District of South Carolina, No. 6: 20-cr-00210.
For Suhorukovs: Arkady Bukh and George Grasso from the law firm Bukh, Alex Kornfeld from Alex Kornfeld Avocat.
For the United States: Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Marosek