eBay Faces Federal Racketeering (RICO) Lawsuit For Trafficking In Fake Products
. By LAS Staff Writer
Los Angeles, CA (August 20, 2015) (Press Release)The R. Rex Parris Law Firm has filed claims against eBay® and PayPal® and various eBay Sellers in Federal Court under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and the Lanham Act claiming the defendants knowingly and deliberately facilitate, proliferate and profit from the ongoing sale of counterfeit and fake products on ebay.com.
“This landmark RICO lawsuit against eBay identifies ongoing practices by the $18 billion e-commerce giant which are aiding a $1.7 trillion global criminal enterprise with the results threatening the health and safety of American consumers and the U.S. economy and damaging manufacturer’s reputations and brands,” said lead attorney R. Rex Parris.
“A two-year investigation by The Counterfeit Report®, a consumer anti-counterfeiting advocate, provided investigative detail and insight into eBay’s ecosystem to advertise, list, manipulate, sell, finance, ship and encourage the sale of counterfeit and fake products. Most importantly, eBay’s response to The Counterfeit Report® investigation confirms that eBay is “willfully blind” to the rampant trafficking in counterfeit and fake products on ebay.com,” added Parris.
The detailed 106-page lawsuit asserts that because eBay and PayPal cannot continue to enjoy the enormous profits derived from the proliferation of counterfeit and fake products sold on the eBay website if the intentional infringing sellers are excluded, eBay’s policies and practices are designed to, among other things, (i) promote the unlawful activities of its unauthorized sellers by soliciting eBay buyers to purchase fake products knowingly using listings that infringe on registered trademarks, (ii) conceal and protect the identity of the sellers who are responsible for intentional trademark infringement on the eBay website, and (iii) ignore evidence of the unlawful activities by its unauthorized sellers. According to the Complaint, to avoid liability, eBay’s policies and practices are designed to manufacture the false optic that it does not know or suspect the rampant and on-going advertising on ebay.com of fake products that infringe on the trademarks’ of legitimate rights holders, such as Plaintiff.
“We believe that we have overwhelming evidence demonstrating that eBay has engaged in a sustained pattern of racketeering.” Among the many complaints, the lawsuit alleges eBay developed and maintains a pervasive practice of obstructing and ignoring counterfeit enforcement through sham customer support programs. eBay purports to police such counterfeiting through its policy which states “You can’t list replicas, fakes, counterfeits, or other illegal copies on eBay.” However, test purchases have proven this is simply lip service offered to address a known, extensive and ongoing problem. “Reality is starkly different,” said Parris.
“The lawsuit alleges eBay often took no effective action to block and remove listings and sellers when fake and counterfeit products were actually purchased, confirmed by the manufacturer, and reported to eBay. Incredibly, even products bearing a manufacturer’s trademarked brand that never existed in the manufacturer’s product line continue to be sold on eBay and deceive consumers, despite repeated complaints,” stated Parris
According to the complaint, “Plaintiffs are informed and believe that even more shocking is that consumers actually receive email notifications and eBay webpage from eBay encouraging the purchase of known counterfeit and fake products. When confronted on the counterfeit purchases, eBay directs consumers to mail counterfeits back to the seller as a mandatory condition for a refund. Returned counterfeits are easily recycled, re-listed and re-sold to unsuspecting consumers, and the buyer loses their only evidence of receiving a counterfeit,” said Parris.
“The fundamental goal of the lawsuit is to bring attention and monetary consequence to eBay to divest itself of any interest or activity, direct or indirect in the distribution of counterfeit or potentially counterfeit products,” added Parris.
“RICO involves an intentional and repeated pattern and practice of violating laws in furtherance of a criminal enterprise. Manufacturers injured by RICO activities in business or property by reason of a violation of Section 1962 are entitled to recover threefold the damages sustained and the cost of the suit. A significant number of the eBay consumer community may be entitled to refunds for counterfeit products purchased on eBay.
A photo accompanying this release shows confirmed counterfeit Chanel No. 5 EDP, SanDisk 64GB micro SDHC memory card, Lunatik Epik Apple iWatch Case and TakTik Extreme iPhone case, Monster Tron T1 headphones, and a Group-A Autosports lower automobile suspension control arm. The photo can be downloaded here.
About The R. Rex Parris Law Firm
For 30 years, R. Rex Parris has devoted his practice to protecting the rights of injured people and aggrieved employees. Rex and his dedicated team provide thorough, high-quality representation with integrity and compassion. From motor vehicle crashes to class actions and defective products, these lawyers fight aggressively against corporate defense attorneys and insurance companies to ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. For more information please visit rrexparris.com
If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a consumer frauds lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Posted by ray
As A Seller On eBay For Years. I Just Notice Something Going On eBay. Example : You Sell a Item For 10.00 it cost 4.00 to ship it. eBay Will Show I Made 14.00. Before Their Fees. in reality I only made 10.00 minus what their fee should be 10% of 10.00 is one dollar No They Charge You $1.40. Then When you go to pre pay the shipping they give you a discount witch is a given percentage of the shipping charge and it varies. so then when you get your monthly invoice. and they show a deduction of your final value fee. it's not a deduction off all the Shipping Cost They Claim You Made In Sales It A Floating Percentage Minus The Shipping Discount When You Purchase The Label. And Varies With What The Cost Of The Item. To Make A Long Story Short As A Seller Your Being Charged Of What The Buyer Is Paying For Shipping
Posted by Sammy
EBay allows fakes. I recently got pills off ebay that were fake by diet-workd-superstore I called eBay to let them know and all they did was off from your refund on the buyer's behalf and they allow this seller to continue selling fakes. After the hospital ran a test and told us that none of the ingredients on the label were actually inside of the product at all it was a counterfeit fake product.
Posted by Self Paced
We are reported for infringement of our brand EBay many times, even send notices to Ebay VeRO. But results are totally opposite. I see number of sellers are increasing who are selling counterfeit products using our brand name. Not only this but Ebay promoting such seller by sending marketing email from EBay own email account. This is very much clear that EBay is doing this knowingly, purposely to make money through unethical means. This is very shameful act of EBay.
Posted by Kimberly
we need a Lawsuit for good seller.... because they are letting people steal from seller now
Posted by Lena
I recently bought a pair of "Ugg" boots through a seller called Premiumstride on Ebay. The boots were counterfeit and confirmed so by a shoe department manager at Nordstrom. Granted they were a decent counterfeit so I can see how this company has fooled many many people. In fact nearly 23,000 people. I filed a claim with paypal who refunded my money after I returned the fake boots, knowing full well they will just be sold to someone else for $150. The interesting thing is that this company received a number of negative feedbacks claiming that their products were counterfeit, then within 24 hours these negative feedbacks are removed.. Including mine. I absolutely allege that Ebay is not only supporting and profiting greatly from the sale of illegal counterfeit goods, but they are also removing feedback for these sellers so that they can continue to do so. This is criminal.
Posted by paul smith
recently purchased 2x makita batteries realising they are fakes immediately asked for items to be cancelled, refund given, now the sellers feedback has numerous claims of fake batteries, i left my feedback informed ebay by way of reporting the chinesse seller,, ebay removed 2 seperated reports of feedback i made claiming they were fake, so wrong on every level , about time someone sued ebay or shut it down, blatently allowing fake goods, i also informed makita uk of my various finds
Posted by Ray
I own the intellectual rights to Neotat, and this along with other names are actively listed with the US patent and trademark office. Ebay continues to allow sellers to sell counterfeit items of our products. I understand that it is the responsibility of the owner of intellectual property to police and monitor the misuse of trademark or patent property.So I have contacted the VeRO program multiple times over the last few years about fraudulent sellers of my products. Ebay has made it increasingly more difficult to report such items....but it can be done. However, ebay sometimes just refuses to respond to our complaints so to let the auction items continue.
Now what is happening, is that people have purchased the counterfeit items and then come to our customer service demanding refunds for badly manufactured items that were not made by us but in fact cheap chinese copies. We are proud that our products are made in the USA. But now these copies are hurting our business with complaints online that are unjustified because we did not make the products they had purchased. It may look identical down to the name / logo, but are pretty much junk inside. So how long do American companies have to deal with losing sales and bad reputations caused by cheap counterfeit items?
Posted by Ramone
Ouch! it was turn to come to the unpleasant realization that ebay's practices may well be unethical, high-handed and discriminatory. As a small-time seller who sells off and on on ebay, I tried to list an item to sell after more than 2 years. It kept giving me the message that restrictions have been placed on my account - for what rhyme or reason?
I tried to get to the bottom of it and only got extremely frustrated. Long story short......I was told that back in Oct. 2013, ebay had placed this restriction for some (unknown) reason and notified me of it. During this time period - Sept. 1st 2013 to Oct. 31st 2013, I got 7 or 8 email notifications about an item of mine that wasn't selling after repeated relisting; but not a single email/notification regarding the selling restriction.
When I insisted that this restriction was entirely arbitrary, the "selling limits" specialist kept telling me that ebay had notified me and that he couldn't pull it up because it had been archived (more than 2 yrs. old). He wouldn't also give me the contact info. of his manager for me to resolve the matter. He kept telling me that I should write to Corporate or contact Leadership Dept. (why?) to pursue this further. This episode ended with the specialist cutting me off and putting me on hold.
Posted by rick bass
I got a letter from a collection that I owe ebay 792.75 ebay say that they don't have any account under my name but I have gotten return Packages with my name and address and ebay labels on them I can't get anything out of eBay I don't know what to do I've never had a account with them
Posted by colin
I've had Ebay account for years and every time I go to list a Brand item,even although I know it's genuine and purchased from Boots.com .They always take down my listings of Branded goods.They same they are fakes and counterfeit,but that is like saying big stores like Boots.com are selling fakes.
I'd love to be able to sue them for millions,as this is what is needed to make them who look at your listing know what is fake and what is not.As they have thousands of fake items on Ebay,but pick on the same people all the time.Even listing a genuine item,surely I can sue them in court over calling just purchased items from big store fakes.If they don't want fakes on their sites,then don't allow any Branded items to be listed whiout proof of purchase from a store etc,that way this will cull all the fakes.Think i'am just being picked on,lol.
Posted by Stockgirl12
I bought fake MAC off ebay and another seller bought it. She then wrote a feedback saying I sell FAKE MAC PRODUCTS. This is not true. It only happened as a result of Buying Fake merchandise from Ebay. I had 100% feedback. I asked them to rescind it and they refused saying it was not their responsibility. My reputation has been ruined. Who will Buy from me now? Can anyone help
Posted by Vincent Dunn
I sell used projectors on E-bay and E-bay just raised my store rate after a promise of 12month at $15.95 and at the same time told me I had to provide a 30 day return policy on my used projectors to get my top rated seller badge displayed and the discounts that go with it. HAS E-BAY GONE MAD? They too a bad situation and made it worse - Why would ANYONE pay for $200 Weekend projector rental when all they have to do is buy one of my $130 projectors, use this PISS out of it for 30 days, and then return it at my expense? E-bay is handing out FREE PROJECTOR RENTALS AT MY EXPENSE. I am SO ANGRY. I think this latest move was an unhanded way to get top rated sellers OFF the books. I use to do a 14 day return policy on USED Projectors and had the occasional return with a few hundred hours on the bulb, most after March Madness. Now I am left wide open for more abuse on the 30 day return and they WANT ME TO PAY MORE FOR MY STORE AND CHARGE ME MORE FOR SELLER FEES UNLESS I COMPLY - E-bay has GONE MAD - They need to fire who ever is making these crazy decisions that hurt sellers - They forgot that they are an AUTION HOUSE - Not a store. If I buy something at any auction in the country I am stuck with it.
Posted by John
Ebay Promotes fraud. Ebay deliberately ignores fraud. Ebay profits by not making it possible to stop fraud on their sites. Its impossible to get them to directly act and no contact method is available to send them data on how the fraud is perpetrated. SO, they are complicit.
They are well aware that a company in Missouri thats ran by a very well known con man and known publicly as a scam has been selling fraudulent renewable energy junk made in Vietnam but advertised as 100% made in America.
The product is a Micro wind turbine thats claimed to produce over 600% more than is possible in any conditions. Theres You Tube videos all over showing Missouri wind and solar fraud rip offs. And the scam artist is all over you tube with over 40 channels to distort the reports on him and attack the victims he and Ebay worked together to create.
Its a cash cow with a near 400% profit margin. That company is Missouri wind and solar and he has the accounts SkyMax Wind, Mandalay Wind, and Mountain Wind Trading company of which all are ran out of a shack By a slick scam artist called Jeff.
Does Ebay care? NO. Will Ebay Stop it, NO. They make lots of money off the poor customers. And the con man even brags he has paid internal "handlers" that keep his feedback and complaints fixed to attract more victims. Courtesy of Ebay!
If they will do this for a known scam artist, then who else gets help ripping off the public. Lots of them do. Ebay is screwing massive amounts of customers by protecting scams. Its apparently their business plan.
Posted by Crabitha
Can it be legal for eBay to order PayPal to withhold payments for 21 days from sellers who have sold an item and shipped it?
Wasn’t eBay ordered by the courts to sell PayPal? Apparently they are still in some way contracted with or own interest in PayPal because they are telling PayPal to withhold payments from sellers for 21 days for all purchases if the seller was unable to fill an order from a buyer. This happens more frequently with eBay’s legitimate sellers; those selling one of a kind items as opposed to those selling cheap knockoffs and poor quality trinkets from China.
eBay encourages sellers to re-list items that didn’t sell at auction the first time around. In fact, they ask sellers to sign up for automatic re-listing of items that don’t sell. Occasionally the seller will sell an item through another venue and it’s no longer available but the item is automatically re-listed on eBay. In that case, the seller refunds the buyer immediately and apologizes for their disappointment, etc. If that happens one time, eBay orders PayPal to withhold all payments to a seller for 21 days. I wonder how much interest PayPal is getting and splitting with eBay with this new policy (instituted last month).
eBay began with small sellers of one of a kind items, like a gigantic garage sale. That was in the 1990s. Fast forward to 2016 and it’s an entirely different business model. In the 2000s, eBay, in an effort to ‘grow’ their business began encouraging sellers to buy cheap junk from China wholesale so they could compete with a bunch of other sellers selling the same cheap junk. As a result, they encouraged a plethora of sellers providing Ali Express (etc) knockoffs who can sell thousands of cheap trinkets to unsuspecting buyers. These sellers, even though their feedback ratings contain many complaints, get to the top of the ebay search engines and they never run out of junk to sell. These are the sellers eBay wants. They don’t run out of items so they don’t get their payments withheld for 21 days. As eBay continues to discourage sellers with one of a kind collectible and antique items, they in turn encourage the people selling counterfeit items from China. Many Americans don’t understand that in China, someone duplicating another’s item (counterfeiting as we see it) is considered a compliment and so their culture encourages counterfeiting.
Can it be really be legal to withhold payments for 21 days from sellers who have sold an item and shipped it to a customer?
Posted by Crabitha
My husband is a long time antiquarian books seller. He has been in the business since the 1970s. We are aware of at least one ebay “antiquarian books dealer” who regularly sells faked signed copies of books. Some of these are very expensive items. eBay not only doesn’t care, they encourage it by putting these sorts of sellers into the front of other sellers when a potential customer types in a search for a particular book title.
Posted by Brian Hunt
Ebay is entirely corrupt and rotten through and through. Ebay suspended my account because they wanted me to prove the items were mine. I told them there is a GIA report with number shown just recently done in Carlsbad, Ca. I said all the info. you need is right there and that shows that I am the rightful owner. here is the kicker the item in question I originally purchased from and ebay vendor. Ebay is wanting me to prove ownership of an item I originally purchased on ebay. I had also informed several sellers that they were selling fraudulent items and instead of taking the other items down they shut my account down. The end ! No more ebay for me.
Posted by Frank
eBay's "Best Match" search favors counterfeit items. Two of the criteria that bump a listing to the top in the "Best Match" search are item price and number of sales. Counterfeits, being priced lower than genuine products, sell better than the genuine products.
Posted by Bradley
Ebay and it's front company Paypal are both criminal enterprises. They misuse and do not protect both financial and personal information. Routinely they steal money from sellers who are defrauded by dishonest buyers who report defective items which are not and ebay takes no real steps to verify this. I speak from personal experience. Ebay/Paypal(E-P) unilaterally withdraw money with no authorization from sellers. Sellers are forced to pay all fees and shipping both ways when a buyer lies. E-P allows no returns/refunds policy but this has no effect and is a fraudulent practice, even when seller can PROVE with pictures etc that the item is NOT defective.
In addition E-P will NOT refund selling fees if a buyer doesn't pay UNLESS you open a case with them to get the fees back. This is an obvious scam to keep the fees by E-P. E-P is unethical and rude over the phone when you finally, after many transfers, get someone who speaks native english. If anyone knows of a class action case or wants to start one against this criminal combine point me to it!
Posted by Beth Schoeffler
Ebay charges a final shipping fee on items that you do not ship through them. I print my labels through USPS and pay with a credit card and ship at the post office. Then Ebay charges me a final shipping fee. How is that even legal? I was trying to get away from their fraudulent shipping fee, but it is still there, so they force you to go through them and Paypal to ship. I wish there was a class action law suit to join on this. They do not care about the seller at all. They are only out for Ebay and Paypal to make money. I truly can't understand how this is possible.
Posted by John Ervin
e-bay has recently changed seller standards is is charging sellers for CLOSED cases that are RESOLVED. Lowering their seller status to delayed payments via paypal.
I have 4 cases in seller dashboard, 1 was removed but 3 remain. 1 seller was convicted of fraud and was booted from both platforms.. my fault NOT...
In the other case buyer opens up "Not as described case" to get refund on item that did not fit.. FRAUD again...
Fighting this need an attorney.. anyone interested.. ?
Posted by Curtis
I recently purchased a wheel hub assembly from an eBay seller. Many sellers are selling the same item claiming it to be Koyo, a reputable manufacturer supplier to vehicle manufacturers.
After about a month it failed. After much research I determined it was a counterfeit, poor quality bearing.
This is a critical part, failure could create a major safety issue.
The sellers are probably obtaining them through Alibaba as they are readily available there.
I will no longer use eBay after this.
Posted by Mike L
Shipping counterfeit products is a federal crime. Doesn't matter if it is going to a customer or being returned to a seller. Requiring the return of a counterfeit product is not permitted.
Posted by B. Blommaert
The buyer always wins means they support fraud, theft, and worse. They took my games, gave it to buyers, and gave them full refunds. Some said they never got it...but by god they have it listed for sale on their own site now that they have their money back and ebay and paypal just tells you...get over it.
In fact it's literally somewhere in the fine print somewhere on the paypal. I don't recall the exact phrasing but it boils down to "when you use paypal, you'll get scammed. Consider it a business expense and get over it"
If you respond to a false complaint made against you, and you dare to provide 100% proof of shipment, they still rule in favor of the scammer/buyer.
So they can not only steal your money but CHARGE YOU A 16 DOLLAR FINE.
PayPal & Ebay have nice racket going on there. It's literally organised crime. The only difference is they have lawyers instead of Tommy Guns.
Posted by Joe
I have vast knowledge of ebay fraud over the past 15 years. This includes many examples of eBay allowing fraudulent auctions to remain visible.I found this article because I was searching for information about eBay conducting unauthorized transactions with PayPal accounts that were not linked to the seller account. For the second time now, eBay has forced a payment for seller fees from a second PayPal account of mine that I quite intentionally kept hidden from eBay so that this wouldn't happen again. The first time they did it, I had to close my bank account. It was an account that I had never authorized to be used with eBay in any way, shape, or form. eBay forcing transactions from an unauthorized account happens often. It just happened to me again on the 16th of November. EBay is a terribly corrupt organization, and PayPal is its right hand man.
Posted by Chris
As a small business in the UK, that started on Ebay many years ago, we feel kicked in the teeth with their ineptitude at stopping the trade in fake goods.
We went from turning over just under £800k a year on ebay to closing the ebay side of the company down simply because the amount of fake goods listed on ebay.
When you have customers telling us that we are ripping them off because seller "X" is selling the item at 1/4 of the price we did, it becomes very clear where the sales had gone.
You can't buy the items from the manufacturer at that price, hell, that price was probably a break even cost for the item to be made.
The authorities are quick to jump on the band wagon of chasing people like Kim Dotcom etc but what about Ebay? They must make many more times the profit from trade mark violations that his MegaUpload site (supposedly) ever did.
Posted by Cynthia Conkling
I wonder why no one has sued them for unfair trade practices by manipulating their search engines to favor the Chinese? For eBay it's Cassini... USA sellers get kicked to the back of the bus, even in categories such as Haute Couture (a very specific group of designers get to use this term) and TRUE vintage (China has vintage reproductions). TY.
Posted by Michael
Thank god someone is doing this! They also need sued by the Federal Government for using the Postal Service as a means to make profit from charging sellers final value fees on shipping. The post office doesn't get this money. Ebay charges a fee for a service that they don't even offer; a shipping service. The billions they have made. Also rumor has it they use that as an "expense" allowing them to avoid paying taxes on that "fee" money.
Ebay has lost it. They buyer always wins means they support fraud, theft, and worse. They took MY software, gave it to buyers, and gave them full refunds. Some said they never got it...but by god they have it listed for sale on their own site now that they have their money back and ebay just tells you...get over it. Its time to bring eBay down to face the Laws of this land rather than assume they can make them up as they go along. And now its being considered for sale to a Chinese group? Ebay China failed. Remember?
Posted by Capt. Ahad
Ebay routinely tolerates "Trademark SEO fraud." In virtually all products. For example, many buyers search for Jansport brand backpacks. So a company selling a different brand will stuff its own listing with "Jansport" just to show up, or show up higher, when someone searches for "Jansport." Crooked as heck, but eBay tolerates it, ignores complaints, and implicitly encourages this kind of cheating which reaches the point of consumer fraud.
Posted by Vance
**Update to my original post**
I was originally told by an eBay representative that the account restrictions could only be reversed if Nautilus, Inc retracted their claim made against me. After calling and talking to another eBay representative, not having any other claims or issues brought forward to eBay about your account COULD lead to some liency. It didn't hurt that Nautilus Inc changed their position from what they originally claimed to eBay in their email response to my inquiry I sent to them about this matter.
Posted by Vance
Last Friday my account was frozen for 7 days because Nautilus,Inc made a false claim to eBay that I was selling counterfeit merchandise. It doesn't matter to eBay that I have proof they are NOT counterfeit. eBay won't activate my account unless Nautilus, Inc retracts their claim against me. I am currently looking to see if legal action against Nautilus, Inc for Defamation is possible. I wouldn't be surprised if eBay's actions were due to this RICO charge. So, thank you for emboldening large corporations' ability to shutdown the competition of honest sellers trying to make a living. I wonder if the people who worked to bring this charge forward actually looked into how frequent Manufacturer's claims of counterfeit were proven to be fraudulent?
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