U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner has announced the award of $405,258 grant to the California Attorney General's Office and the Sacramento Valley High-Tech Crimes Task Force to combat intellectual property theft.
The funds will be used to target the manufacture, purchase and sale of counterfeit and pirated products, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Intellectual property theft refers to the violation of criminal laws that protect copyrights, patents, trademarks, other forms of intellectual property, and trade secrets in the United States and abroad.
The grant announced today is part of a broader national announcement by the Justice Department of more than $2.4 million in grants to 13 jurisdictions around the country to combat the problem.
The California Attorney General's Office will receive $200,000 to support efforts to enhance sate law enforcement's response to intellectual property theft by coordinating investigations targeting intellectual property crimes in California, referring completed investigations for prosecution and developing and delivering law enforcement/prosecutor training programs for dealing with intellectual property crime.
The Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force was awarded $205,258 to assist state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in enforcing intellectual property laws. The grant will fund two detective positions at 50 percent, increasing the Task Force's ability to provide community outreach and law enforcement training on intellectual property violations and to investigate such crimes.
Officials said the task force already has helped investigate two large-scale multi-defendant cases that resulted in 12 convictions to date. Using warehouses in Sacramento, San Jose and Modesto, the defendants manufactured counterfeit media and sold them at flea markets in Galt, Modesto and other communities.