For every upscale shopping district in Texas, there are at least three outlet malls or suburban strip malls where the low prices are the biggest draw. Even the most indiscriminate of retail therapy enthusiasts know which experience they are looking for. The initials “LV” and “MK” mean one thing in Highland Park and quite another at Grand Prairie Premium Outlets. In the former instance, you expect that designers employed by Louis Vuitton had a hand in the design of the handbag with the “LV” monogram and that the “MK” monogram appears with the approval of Michael Kors itself; therefore, you willingly pay hundreds of dollars for a handbag.
At the outlet mall, however, no one is under any illusions that the designer handbags are genuine. People go there looking for a $30 handbag, and if it bears some resemblance to one made by a well-known designer, all the better. Selling “fake” designer handbags at discounted prices is not fraud, and buying them certainly isn’t. The trouble starts when a seller intentionally makes an item appear more valuable than it is and sells it to a buyer at an inflated price. The crimes of criminal simulation and trademark counterfeiting relate to a fraudulent misrepresentation of items offered for sale.
If you have been arrested and charged with criminal simulation in Texas or trademark counterfeiting, it is possible to deal with these charges effectively and in a way that safeguards your best interests. Contact a Texas white-collar crime lawyer at the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC. With over 30 years of experience, we will fight for you.
What Is Criminal Simulation?
Texas law defines the offense of criminal simulation as altering the appearance of an item of merchandise to make it look more valuable than it is and then selling it at a higher price than its market value. Most cases of criminal simulation involve the sale of purportedly antique items of furniture or décor which are actually relatively new but have been altered to create the illusion that they are older.
Criminal simulation is a class A misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for a criminal simulation conviction is a $4,000 fine and one year in jail.
What Is Trademark Counterfeiting?
Trademark counterfeiting occurs if you affix a trademark that you do not own (or a close approximation of a trademark that you do not own) to a product that you offer for sale. An example would be offering imitation designer handbags for sale as if they were genuine and for a price similar to the retail value of the genuine items. The grading of a trademark counterfeiting offense varies according to the retail value of the merchandise bearing the counterfeit trademark. It can range from a class C misdemeanor for merchandise with a retail value of less than $100 to a first-degree felony for merchandise with a retail value that exceeds $300,000.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, About Financial Crime Cases
Marketing your products to a budget-conscious clientele is not a crime. You should hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in criminal cases involving criminal simulation or trademark counterfeiting. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, to speak with a Dallas criminal defense attorney today.