Missouri Couple Plead Guilty to Selling Counterfeit Disney DVDs
A couple in Columbia, Missouri pleaded guilty in federal court this week to smuggling counterfeit Disney DVDs and selling them on eBay.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was first tipped off to the criminal activity conducted by Tabitha and Clint Rodgers in July 2014. The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center contacted HSI saying Clint Rodgers had received over 443 shipments of counterfeit DVDs from Hong Kong. HSI then seized two more shipments before delivery. One had 200 counterfeit “Beauty and the Beast” DVDs, while the other had 260 counterfeit “Aladdin” DVDs.
Customs and Border Protection seized another 200 counterfeit Disney DVDs en route to the Rodgers in February 2015. Undercover federal agents purchased counterfeit DVDs from the Rodgers—who claimed the DVDs were authentic—on eBay in February and March of that year.
HSI conducted a search of the Rodgers home in August 2015, seizing more counterfeit Disney DVDs and other counterfeit items.
Tabitha Rodgers, 42, admitted to conducting most of the business operations, placing the orders for the DVDs via email, packaging and mailing the DVDs, and processing customer complaints. She pleaded guilty to one felony count of criminal copyright infringement for profit. She faces up to five years in federal prison without parole. She also has to pay an amount representing her share of the proceeds from the crime. The amount will be determined on her sentencing date.
Her husband, Clint Rodgers, 48, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of criminal infringement of copyright. He faces up to one year in federal prison without parole.