The owner of sneaker webstore SuppliedPDX has been hauled up for investigation after years of allegedly selling fakes.
Fed agents from the Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security searched the home of James Pepion, the man behind SuppliedPDX. During the crackdown, thousands of pairs of sneakers, allegedly fakes, were seized.
The haul included 1,560 pairs of Nike sneakers, 40 pairs of adidas and seven pairs of ASICS sneakers. Other evidence, ranging from documents to computer equipment, were also seized.
Nike had spearheaded the operation by looking into Pepion’s webstore and accounts, which went by the names Get-Supplied, Supplied Inc. and Supplied.
Pepion’s PayPal account had received over US$2.6 million worth of payments from January 2012 to March 2015. Authorities believe that a bulk of the money came from the sale of counterfeit footwear products.
To build a case against Pepion, packages delivered to him were also screened. Among the 17 searches, one of the packages turned out to contain fake sneakers. It was later discovered that Pepion had an inside guy who was stealing samples and components from Nike’s manufacturing factories in China. Pepion was ordering fakes from him in bulk and money transfers between them came up to US$174,460.
Since this incident, Nike has issued a statement that read: “Nike aggressively protects the brand, as well as our retailers selling authentic Nike product, and our consumers against counterfeiting. We actively work with law enforcement and customs officials around the world to combat the production and sale of counterfeit product.”
Investigations are ongoing. If found guilty, Pepion could be in trouble for wire fraud, trafficking in counterfeit goods and money laundering.
All things considered, it’s a huge step forward for those who want to see fake sneakers taken off the market.