2013 Nike shoes
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thousands of potentially counterfeit athletic shoes were recovered by federal investigators during a search at a residence in Happy Valley.
Agents from the IRS and Homeland Security Investigations searched a home in the 11000 block of SE Rimrock Drive in Happy Valley on April 6. The search was done at 6:20 a.m. and investigators seized:
- 1560 pair of Nike sneakers;
- 40 pair of Adidas sneakers;
- 7 pair of Asics sneakers;
- 5 boxes of shoe boxes and packaging material;
- 7 boxes and 1 bag of miscellaneous documents;
- 5 LG 4406 cellphones;
- 3 SGH 53906 Samsung cellphones;
- 2 Mac Book laptops;
- 2 iPhones;
- 1 USB hard drive;
- 1 USB thumb drive;
- 1 CD rom disc
Inside the investigation
The investigation started March 5 when Nike revealed its private team of specialized investigators conducted a “discreet” probe into the online retailer Get-Supplied.com, a website owned by James Pepion, according to the federal search warrant. Get-Supplied also goes by the names “SuppliedPDX, ” “Supplied Inc., ” and “Supplied”.
The website is accused of illegally selling stolen, counterfeit and “grey-market” Nike Jordan shoes and unauthorized pre-releases, records show. According to investigators, “grey-market” products are made from real or potentially stolen components outside of authorized Nike factories.
“Grey-market” products are made from real or potentially stolen components outside of authorized Nike factories
Investigators determined Pepion received a total of $2, 615, 988 into his PayPal account that was opened on January 16, 2012. PayPal included comments that Pepion received regarding the authenticity of the items being sold. They included phrases like: “fake”: “The shoes are fake so I am asking for a refund.” “My friend compared the shoes to a pair of Jordans (sic) that he has and it’s clearly a fake.”
Import records reviewed by investigators using Pepion’s various addresses and determined there were roughly 100 shipments to him at various addresses between May 2009 and January 2015. “The imported items were from Hong Kong and China, and most were described as shoes or footwear, ” a federal search warrant showed.
Between March 20, 2015 and November 2, 2015, agents in Portland stopped several packages as they were headed to Pepion in Happy Valley. Of the 17 searches, “all of the shipments were counterfeit except one, ” according to the search warrant.
Agents seized trash from Pepion’s residence on the 15000 block of SE Aspen Way and collected his financial records on August 27, 2015.
‘Bulk quantities of shoes (from Chinese national)’
After agents served Google with a search warrant, they were able to track an email that belonged to a Chinese national who is suspected of thefts of samples and components from Nike manufacturing partner facilities in China, according to records. The man is also said to have organized the sale of stolen samples and counterfeit Nike and Air Jordan shoes.
“The email appears to show Pepion ordering bulk quantities of shoes [from the Chinese national] and having them delivered to other persons in the United States on his behalf, ” according to the warrant.
James Pepion faces no criminal charges at this time
Money transfers that totaled $174, 460 were sent from two American-based bank accounts to China between June 2013 and September 2015, according to court documents.
Pepion could be charged with wire fraud, trafficking in counterfeit goods and money laundering. As of Monday, no criminal charges have been filed in U.S. District Court.
Multiple attempts to reach Pepion for comment for this story were unsuccessful. Several of the phone numbers associated to him went directly to voicemail boxes that were full.
According to the “Supplied” description in the Apples iTunes store, “Supplied Has Become The #1 Selling Sneaker Destination Online.”
Many of Pepion’s social media accounts have since been deleted. The “Get-Supplied.com” website is currently undergoing “rebuilding.”
On Tuesday, a neighbor spoke to KOIN 6 News and said that inside the garage, before the agents searched it, were hundreds of boxes stacked up like a warehouse.
“You looked in and you saw that it looked like a Nike store, ” the man said. He asked that his name not be used. “Literally, from floor to ceiling there were boxes and boxes of shoes.”
Tae Kang says there were so many shoes in the house that the residence had to park on the street and in the driveway.
Kang said he saw delivery trucks coming and going 4-5 times a week.
Multiple neighbors said Pepion had several sports cars.
“Nike aggressively protects our brand, our retailers, and most importantly 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, and are supporting Homeland Security Investigations in this investigation.”
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