A 34-year-old Seattle woman was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 30 days in prison and $64,500 in restitution for trafficking in counterfeit exercise equipment, according to a news release.
Genvieve Rullan pleaded guilty in June after admitting to importing the counterfeit items and selling them online as authentic "Ab Circle Pro" exercisers.
U.S. Immigration and Customs conducted an undercover investigation of Rullan in 2008 and 2009. According to court records, an agent contacted Rullan over the internet about the authenticity of the “Ab Circle Pro” exercisers she was selling on the auction site eBay in November of 2009. She responded that the item was not a fake, and said it was just lower priced because that was the going rate on eBay.
In December 2009, agents searched her home and seized 210 counterfeit “Ab Circle Pro” units. Agents also seized evidence of a double invoicing scheme, as well as other counterfeit exercise equipment. The investigation revealed that she had sold more than 1,000 counterfeit items on eBay over the two years.
Rullan provided a letter to eBay falsely claiming that she was an authorized distributor of the “Ab Circle Pro” for Fitness Brands Inc. When customers complained about the low quality of the item they purchased, she continued to claim they were genuine.
In sentencing the defendant to prison time, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez noted that "there were many, many false statements to customs and to customers ... there were many overt acts to keep this scheme going."