PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An operations manager at Dakota Outerwear Co. in Minot, N.D., was indicted Thursday, Oct. 1, by a federal grand jury in Rhode Island for allegedly selling counterfeit clothing and other goods to military and government purchasers.
Terry Roe, of Burlington, N.D., with help from Ramin Kohanbash, a New Jersey wholesaler, obtained clothing, apparel, and gear manufactured in China and Pakistan, importing it to the U.S., according to the indictment filed in Rhode Island U.S. District Court.
At Roe's direction, Kohanbash, who operated California Surplus, Inc., Gan Eden, LLC, and FR-HQ, LLC, used the three businesses to wholesale military uniforms and gear to Dakota Outerwear Co., which sold uniform items and gear to the U.S. Military and its Base Supply Centers, the indictment said.
A requirement that uniforms, fabrics, gear and other items sold to the United States Department of Defense must be produced in the U.S., Roe and others working at his direction, falsely represented that the counterfeit goods were manufactured in the U.S. In addition, China is not a designated country under the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), which, according to federal prosecutors provides that products sold to the U.S. government must be made in the U.S. or in a TAA country.
With help from New York businessman Bernard Klein, who brokered the manufacture of clothing, apparel and gear made in China and elsewhere to buyers in the U.S., Roe committed wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods, according to the indictment.
From 2013 to roughly October of 2018, Roe sent samples of genuine military uniform items to Kohanbash, who would in turn, send to Klein, arranging the manufacturing process of counterfeit items, prosecutors allege. These items carried counterfeit markings and labels identical to trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Items such as parkas, hoods and shirts lacked the required safety measures, the indictment said. According to the report, counterfeit hoods were not fire-resistant, but the labels said they were.
Kohanbash pleaded guilty on June 12, 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trafficking counterfeit goods. Klein pleaded guilty on Aug. 25, 2020, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Roe is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and traffic in counterfeit goods, mail fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods.
Roe and Dakota Outerwear Co. did not respond to requests for comment on the case by publication time.