Two charged for selling fake gifts

Two people who allegedly ran the www.fakegifts.com Web site face federal charges they sold fake Cartier watches, Mont Blanc pens, and other luxury goods on the Internet, the Associated Press reported.

Cartier Inc., which said it initiated the investigation, said it was the first such action by federal prosecutors against someone selling allegedly counterfeit products on the Internet. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean Eichelberger said he was unable to confirm that.

Mark Dipadova, 25, and Theresa Gayle Ford, 36, both of Lancaster, were charged with three counts of trademark infringement, one count of conspiracy and one count of making false statements to federal agents, U.S. Attorney Rene Josey said Wednesday.

According to the indictment, the pair began operating www.fakegifts.com in April and sold counterfeit Rolex, Cartier and Tag Heuer watches; Mont Blanc pens; and Oakley sunglasses, among other items, the AP reported.

Cartier told the AP it hired private investors to investigate Dipadova nearly a year ago, then turned the case over to U.S. Customs agents.

The maximum penalty on each trademark infringement charge is a $2 million fine and 10 years in prison, Josey told the AP. The maximum penalty for conspiracy and making false statements is a $250,000 fine and five years in prison.

Dipadova was being held in lieu of $100,000 bond. Ford was released on the same amount.