They’re cheaper to buy if you’re looking to turn a quick profit, but selling knock-off sports jerseys can also land you in federal court, whether you’re selling as is or looking to turn them into low cost autographed memorabilia.
A 74-year-old Clearwater, FL man is the latest to suffer the wrath of federal agents cracking down on counterfeit goods. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa says 74-year-old Thomas Walker has now pleaded guilty to trafficking in counterfeit sports jerseys. Walker faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison, although far shorter sentences are usually the result of such cases. His sentencing date is not yet scheduled.
According to the plea agreement and facts presented at the plea hearing, Walker owned and operated a business called “Tim’s Sports Cards Plus,” which he operated from a booth at the Oldsmar Flea Market. Among the items sold were numerous sports jerseys bearing the counterfeit trademarks of NFL, NHL and MLB teams.
On January 27, 2017, federal law enforcement agents went to Walker’s booth at the flea market, spoke with him, and seized 699 jerseys that were for sale, all bearing counterfeit NFL marks. The agents also went to Walker’s home and seized over 1,500 additional counterfeit jerseys from all three purported sports leagues. During an interview with agents, Walker admitted that he had purchased the counterfeit jerseys from a supplier located in China.