Transcript: Brand Protection Stories Episode 1

Leah Evert-Burks: This is Leah Evert-Burks with the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection at Michigan State University and this is Brand Protection Stories. Stories about the practice of brand protection, by those who live it. In Brand Protection Stories, we talk to those in in brand protection community about particular cases in their careers. Through some stranger than fiction, real life scenarios, we learn about the practice of brand protection and the challenges faced by brand owners worldwide.

Brad Greenberg: When you look at counterfeit goods it has no boundaries and it has no parallels because smugglers will do whatever they can to make money. This is about money. The reason that individuals like counterfeit is because more often than not it’s a lesser of a crime than that of smuggling people or narcotics. So it’s a lot easier to smuggle in counterfeit goods then it is to smuggle in kilos of heroin or cocaine. But you’ll see parallels to all sorts of crimes and that typically individuals who were involved in one crime either associate or are involved with individuals who are involved with other crime because at the end of the day it goes back to the almighty fine dollar. Its how can we make money quick.

Leah Evert-Burks: Welcome to the inaugural episode of brand protection stories. Today we speak to Brad Greenberg, who is currently a special agent for the Food and Drug Administration, Office of criminal investigations assigned to the New York field office. Prior to joining FDA OCI Brad was special agent with Homeland Security Investigations for over 10 years assigned to the, to the Newark, New Jersey, office. Brad focused on disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations who committed intellectual property rights violations, financial crimes and cybercrimes. Brad has received numerous investigator of the year awards, and was invited to the White House to receive an award for his work on IPR violations. Welcome, Brad.

 Brad Greenberg: Good morning Leah and thank you for having me and embarking on this venture with you.

Leah Evert-Burks: Absolutely. So I think the last time that we saw each other was at an international conference in Panama, in which we were both a little surprised to be sitting in the audience, and to hear a presenter get up and present on the case that we’re going to be talking about today.

Brad Greenberg: Yeah, it was interesting for us to be sitting in the audience and hearing somebody present on your investigation, while you’re attending the conference.

Leah Evert-Burks: Yeah, absolutely. I think it, it was surprising because actually the person presenting didn’t have any actual involvement in the case. But I would say it wasn’t surprising because this is a fascinating case.

Brad Greenberg: Yeah, I agree. I think that the individual was trying to present at the conference using something that was relevant during the current time, but was missing a little bit of the facts and the deep down knowledge of the actual investigation.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, it’s interesting to note so at that time I was working with one of the brands that was involved in this case, and I say involved a little loosely because… So, I worked for Decker’s Brands and one of the brands that was being counterfeited by these criminal rings involved in the case, the Yao Bao case that we’re talking about today. I say we were, we were involved but truly, we did not know the details of the case which is which is quite common in federal investigations correct?

Brad Greenberg: It is. There is that public private partnership that needs to happen, but at times the investigation, usually needs to kind of close off the private sector, until that investigation comes to a culmination, and we can incorporate the private sector into the

you know the culmination. However, during the investigation, you do need that private public partnership, because we need to confirm, not only through government means but through the private sector, you know, means is this truly a counterfeit product or is the gray market product, you know, is the intellectual property rights, actually violated, or was this product meant for, you know, another nation or country?

Leah Evert-Burks: Right, right. So, so as I recall, we received a phone call, pretty close to when the arrests were to occur in which, as you said you needed to talk to a brand owner authenticate the goods, make sure that you’re dealing with counterfeit. I remember my colleague took that phone call. He came into my office and he said, I just spoke to Brad Greenberg, he can’t tell me the details of the case, but it’s big. So, you know, again, that was that was our involvement at the, at the very end, but you live to this case for quite a number of years.

 Brad Greenberg: We did. And what’s interesting about working with Homeland Security and Customs is that Customs has a job as a public organization or government organization, and that’s to protect the trademarks and the IPR rights of those organizations and companies

that pay and register with Customs to enforce those rights. So, a lot of individuals who work at Customs on the trade side received that knowledge, and they’re able to apply the knowledge from those brand, you know protection ambassadors, or those individuals from, you know, private corporations and they’re able to apply that to goods that are coming into the country. So, we do need that public private partnership to happen it’s just when is that right time, and sometimes it’s when we can authenticate the goods, using the resources that are available.

Leah Evert-Burks: The discipline of brand protection is derived out of trademark law since counterfeiting is a violation of trademark rights. Its important to remember that these are laws set up regionally throughout the world to protect the consumer. Yes, trademarks are assets of companies, but they tell the consumer the source of the good and provide the assurance of origin. But brand protection isn’t only the responsibility of the legal professional, its multi-disciplinary by nature and necessity. People find themselves in this field from such diverse careers such as security, supply chain, law enforcement, marketing, IT, finance, and yes legal as well as many more.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, in speaking about Customs, that’s really first how this case came to your attention, correct?

Brad Greenberg: Yeah, so, about September about 2009, we received a referral from the Intellectual Property Rights Center, stating that they had a container that was coming into Florida and destined for New Jersey, and that they believe that that container, was the victim of identity theft. And at that time nobody really knew what identity theft was, as it related to the shipping of international goods. So that’s kind of how the case started, is that we received this referral and you normally in government when any agency, you receive referrals, or you receive intelligence, and then either that will open up an investigation and that investigation will grow, or you receive that intelligence, and there’s really not much that can come to fruition.

But that is how the initiation of the outbound case started was just on a referral about a container coming to port Newark coming through Florida, and it contained counterfeit goods, and that container was being imported into the United States, using identity theft.

Leah Evert-Burks: Right. And I believe the term that’s used for that is, is customs credential hijacking. So kind of gives you the visual idea of they’re taking some legitimate credentials of brands that are importing their goods into the US, they’re taking those credentials to get them into the US so without disclosing what you can’t disclose what type of goods are being hijacked or their customs credentials?

Brad Greenberg: In essence, the actual companies that were being hijacked or identity theft. Were everything from your largest grocery store chain operating in the United States, all the way down to a very small glass auto glass reseller who operates in New Jersey, very

small mom and pop type shop but has to import that product, and the smugglers because that’s in essence what this really is it’s not the smuggling of narcotics, but it’s the smuggling of counterfeit goods. And these smugglers often would forge powers of attorney, identifying documents, costumes declarations, anything to represent themselves as the legitimate importer. However, when you look at the scheme, the individual who’s really on the hook for this particular crime, this smuggling is not legitimate importer, because that’s whose information is listed on that paperwork. The smuggler walks away free.

Leah Evert-Burks: Right, right. So it gives you an idea of the intricacies and the you know the advanced criminal activity of these rings. So, so you were with Homeland Security at that time, but there were other concerns going on because these are these of course are criminal rings that are perpetrating these crimes. Was there any other federal agencies involved in this investigation and were they coming at it from a different angle, other than counterfeits?

Brad Greenberg: There were there were, and at one point in the investigation there was a parallel investigation that was taking place, and the parallel investigation was with a Federal Bureau of Investigation the FBI and the FBI was looking at this from not only a counterfeit goods angle, but they were looking at this from the smuggling of counterfeit and untaxed cigarettes. They were looking at this from a terrorism angle. And then there was a weapons, potentially a weapons exporting of military products out to China. And on top of that we can add the cherry, which was narcotics being smuggled in a container back into the United States.

Leah Evert-Burks: Interesting. So, so when agencies are working together and cooperating kind of unpack that for us a little bit. How is that coordinated?

Brad Greenberg: Should you try to deconflict locations that you’re going to and you try to operate in the safest manner that you can, but sometimes you don’t necessarily know that other agencies are working, similar crimes. And sometimes there’s not a deconfliction process, outside of the narcotics world that takes place until you’re actually at a particular location, and you realize, whew, there’s other guys here watching what’s going on. And that’s kind of what we ran into. We ran into a situation where there were undercovers from multiple agencies, at the same location. And we did not know until afterwards that a deconfliction had not taken place. But, you know, from there, you learn you grow, and you figure out how can we best dismantle these organizations, either working together or working in a parallel environment, but making sure that our agents are operating in the safest manner possible when in the field.

Leah Evert-Burks: So I’m going to take a moment to set the stage, a little bit you’ve talked about this first came to your attention through customs credential hijacking that you as HSI and FBI were both investigating from different angles counterfeits drugs cigarettes converging crimes, really. And then a cable company becomes involved in New Jersey. So someone calls to have cable installed at a location. Can you walk us through that?

Brad Greenberg: Yeah, absolutely. So, couple of months into the organization, couple of months into the investigation. We had an undercover that was doing deliveries of containers. And what I mean by that he was clearing containers for the bad guys and getting those containers out almost as a corrupt dock worker truck driver whatever role you want to apply.

And one night, our duty agent receives a phone call from a local police department here in New Jersey, with the possibility of he came upon human trafficking. And this cable company was called to a storage facility. Very similar to any storage facility that’s in you know any city across America that people stored goods in whether it be internally in a corridor or externally in a garage and the cable company was called because somebody wanted to install cable in a storage location.

Leah Evert-Burks: Not, not a typical call that they would receive, correct?

Brad Greenberg: Definitely not. And that was the first thing that they really didn’t understand what they were doing there first they thought it was for the office, and then they realized it was actually for a refrigerated storage unit. And somewhere about August during the year so you can understand why the individual here in New Jersey would rent a refrigerated unit. At that point, you know, in time in the year because it’s, you know, probably temperatures in about the 90s. So the cable company shows up, and the individual brings them to his refrigerated unit, and inside the unit they’re able to see a bed. They’re able to see clothing shelving a refrigerator, a hot pot. Things that are normally not placed into a storage unit, and if they are they’re not placed in the capacity to be plugged in and use, they would be to move from one house to another house. So the cable company in doing their due diligence, see something, say something, decided to call the local police department, and then their local police department which is a small township police department in New Jersey contacted Homeland Security Investigations and advise them that something’s not right here. And maybe there’s some human smuggling going on human trafficking. So the duty agent along with individuals from the human trafficking human smuggling group went out. They kind of did some free operational surveillance gathered some information, and then when they ran it through the appropriate systems, determine that the intellectual property rights or counterfeit import group had, let’s say a record on the individual renting the storage unit. So I was notified of the incident that took place, and immediately went out to the location. The next day, to basically begin our investigation into what was being stored at the storage unit.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, how, how many units were being utilized at that storage unit that were containing counterfeit goods?

Brad Greenberg: So great question. So we were able to get a search warrant for that storage location based upon the information that was presented to us. And what we located while looking through the section that was being used for the, I guess living quarters would be the best phrase was we found a bag and inside the bag or pocketbook or purse or whatever you want to refer to it as was over 22 keys for storage unit garages, that were being kept at this particular location.

Leah Evert-Burks: Wow.

 Brad Greenberg: And these garages, were loaded with pallets of counterfeit goods to the tune of tractor trailers worth several tractor trailers, worth of counterfeit goods loaded top to bottom.

Leah Evert-Burks: Wow, so that so the visual of that and, as you said, I mean storage units are typically where you put things when you’re moving or you can’t fit in your garage or, you know, old holiday decorations, but to be storing counterfeit goods with this was this was floor to ceiling 22 units of goods.

Brad Greenberg: Yeah, exactly. These were moving boxes of goods, if you want to get a visual moving boxes of goods in a garage style storage unit that could clearly hold a vehicle loaded from ceiling to floor with pallets of, you know, hundreds, if not thousands of boxes and they contain every good imaginable.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, give us an idea of what those goods where.

Brad Greenberg: So it was everything from counterfeit Ugg boots, all the way to Lacoste t shirts. Louis Vuitton bags suitcases hats jerseys polo shirts, any manufacturer that was in a higher end market they were able to counterfeit to include perfume and cosmetics.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, I want to pause here for a minute and just go back to what you were saying, you know, kudos to that cable guy, as you said, you know, we live in a world that if you see something, say something and he certainly adhered to that. But human trafficking was the concern there and I, and I believe that that ended up not being the case for the Yao Bao incident, but in many counterfeit situations that is certainly the case that agents find a human trafficking element.

Brad Greenberg: That’s correct. When you look at counterfeit goods. It has no boundaries, and it has no parallels. Because smugglers will do whatever they can to make money. This is about money. And the reason that individuals like counterfeit is because, more often than not, it’s a lesser of a crime than that of smuggling people or narcotics. So it’s a lot easier to smuggle in counterfeit goods, than it is to smuggle in kilos of heroin or cocaine. But you’ll see parallels to all sorts of crimes. And that typically individuals who are involved in one crime, either associate or are involved with individuals who are in involved with other crimes, because at the end of the day, it goes back to the almighty fine dollar, and it’s how can we make money quickly.

Leah Evert-Burks: Counterfeiting can be lucrative, but in many jurisdictions prosecution results only in low penalty. Therefore it attracts a wide selection of criminals. From out of garage sellers, to sophisticated networks of terrorism. And what is counterfeited? Just about everything.

Leah Evert-Burks: So tell us about the criminal rings that were involved in this, in this situation.

Brad Greenberg: So you had a couple of different, different Asian organized crime criminal rings that existed. If we look at the Yao Bao side of the investigation through HSI. We had individuals who were located here in the New York, New Jersey, area with ties and family ties over to China, and those ties exists in multiple arenas, so they exist in manufacturing, they exist in logistics, and then they also exist in financial,

you need all three of those pieces to align in order to make that criminal organization work.

What I mean by that is we have individuals here, who were had the ability to import these counterfeit containers. And when they import these counterfeit containers, they then have to sell them down to the next level. So you have these individuals here who kind of have this distribution piece, because the individuals aren’t the ones that are selling these boxes. They want to offload half a container or container, their business people, but then they have ties over

in China to the manufacturers who are making these, these counterfeit goods. And it’s not just one you’re talking about goods from perfume, all the way down the line to T shirts and hats.

So it’s multiple manufacturers, but then you have to have that logistics piece, we have to have the individuals who can get those goods from the manufacturers to the port. There’s often an underground payment system that works bribing customs officials in China to get these containers loaded. And then there’s the individuals through logistics who are obviously obtaining or hijacking the legitimate importer here in the United States has information. And the third, you know, kind of piece to the puzzle is the financial piece, how do we pay for these counterfeit goods, how do we pay for the shipping, and how do we get our money back to China, without anybody here in the United States, known that we’re doing this and that’s kind of the piece of the puzzle on the Yao Bao HSI side, on the FBI side. They had multiple criminal organizations, maybe not as from family size or family tied, but they had multiple criminal organizations that engaged and not only counterfeit goods, luxury goods, but they had cigarettes. They had a narcotics element. And then they also had individuals interested in getting our military technology. So you really look at these criminal organizations, and there is a pretty wide breadth of spread the really is.

Leah Evert-Burks: Yeah, I mean from t-shirts that maybe sound like you know a little bit low, low risk to military technology that gives you an idea of the wide swath of what activities, they’re engaging in and again, as you said, the bottom line is, is to make the money. Whatever moves the money. There were a large amount of funds that were generated by these criminal rings, and I think that they use some unique methods of getting them out of getting the money out of the country and also going undetected when they did deposits in the US.

Brad Greenberg: Yeah, that’s correct throughout my investigation, the one thing that my assistant United States Attorney, always said to me was that Jerry Maguire movie scene. Show me the money. And that probably was the hardest thing to figure out in this investigation, and why. Well the Why is a normal business person would go to their bank account and wire money to a manufacturer in China, for whatever widget they were ordering. But these individuals needed to stay off the radar screen. And the way that they stayed off that radar screen was they had a tie to a money remitter in Queens, New York, and a money remitter is a location that you can bring money to money gram. One of these types of locations, and you can wire money out to a nation. And what these individuals had the capability of doing was they had countless numbers of fraudulent identification. So when our targets walked into this location with hundreds of thousands of dollars. They wired that money over to China, using these fraudulent IDs, and then individuals in China had the ability to walk into a bank or a financial institution, and using the codes that were provided here on the United States side withdraw that money using the similar names that were created fraudulently on the Chinese side. So, it’s an elaborate scheme to wire out somewhere around I would say $25-26 million, without anybody knowing whose wired it out.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, So speaking of that word wire. This case was, I believe the first counterfeiting case in which a federal judge authorized wiretapping.

Brad Greenberg: Yes, so there, there have been cases previously that involve counterfeit goods that had a wire, predominantly the one that we’re aware of was a gambling investigation and one of the individuals had counterfeit goods and that was not the focus, but this

is the first investigation that we were aware of throughout the United States that we were able to use counterfeit goods, using that identity theft, as the predicate crime to get us up on a wire, because you do need a  what you know what the government has determine as a predicate crime to get up on a wire, the wire or a telephonic intercept, they call it a T three on the federal level is probably one of the most intrusive techniques or, you know, tools that law enforcement can use to, you know, intrude on somebody. So you really have to show a significant amount of probable cause to a federal judge in order to, you know, produce a wire. But we did go up on about a nine month wire, where we were intercepting the calls of the targets of this investigation.

And from there, what we try to do is see who are the players we’re kind of making a corporate structure. We’re really looking at a flowchart as to who makes the decisions and who’s just the guy that shows up to pay for that container.

Leah Evert-Burks: If you thought that installation of cable at a storage unit was a strange twist, buckle up for the next part of the story.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, so who makes the decisions. I will, I will kind of start with what I as I.

The information came in on this case I have always called an attempt at a great escape by some of the, the leaders of the criminal rings. So to set this up. They are, as you said, they’re involved in numerous crimes not just counterfeiting. One of one of the major crimes is meth that they’re selling and other narcotics, and they’re having a good time spending some of that money that you just talked about at a casino in Pennsylvania. And if you can take it from there.

Brad Greenberg: Sure. So our. One of our main targets, and another lower-level associate went to, I think it was the Sands Casino out in Pennsylvania for a night of gambling and I guess entertainment. And as we are executing warrants on the day of our take down. These individuals start to receive phone calls from their friends at home as to what’s going on in the news, because once large individuals from law enforcement start to gather around, phone calls are made and the news starts to record. And what happened was they started to get wind that a takedown is happening, involving narcotics weapons and counterfeit goods and not knowing what really is going on, and knowing that there’s people knocking on their door and those people are federal agents. They hightail it back to Brooklyn and make link up with some of their family and friends, and these two individuals packed their bags and said, they’re going back to China. And what they did was they hired a taxi driver to hire to hire them to take them to Texas. Leah Evert-Burks: So they hired this driver. They drove out to Texas, so we think of a map of the United States so they’re in Brooklyn, New York, they hire a taxi driver to take them down to Texas.

Brad Greenberg: Right. You know, if I was the taxi guy though probably would raise a red flag for me, but not sure who actually you know what company drove them and could be somebody that they know, they took turns all driving out to Texas. When they arrived at Texas, they actually got a secondary ride down to the border. And then from there, they crossed into Mexico, where they laid low for a few days. And as they laid low for a few days, they were able to receive money from family and friends. And in turn, they were able to have booked for them, tickets to fly to China. However, when you fly from China from Mexico, unlike the United States, there’s no direct flight. So they needed to transition through Germany. And these individuals booked their flight, and by the grace of God I received a notification. Still not sure today how we received this notification that they booked a flight. And I remember it was a Sunday night, and it was three o’clock in the morning, and I get this notification, and I pop out of bed and I immediately start going to work on the computer for Monday morning. And the first call and email was out to the United States Attorney’s Office to let them know that one of our main targets is on the run

Leah Evert-Burks: fleeing the jurisdiction of the US.

Brad Greenberg: correct fleeing the jurisdiction of the US already in Mexico and is now about to embark on a journey to get back to China.  And through the work of Interpol, the Office of International Affairs, with the Department of Justice. The local United States Attorney’s Office, and all of the reach that we have with Homeland Security Investigations. And, you know, the FBI, we were able to contact our what they call attaches for agents assigned overseas to various offices. And we notified, our attaché offices in that covered the Germany region, and they were able to work with the other counterparts in Interpol and Office of International Affairs OIA, and they were able to work to bring in the German authorities and let them know that we have arrest warrants for these individuals, and you put what’s called the red notice and then a red notices, if they’re Interpol that we have an international, you know, kind of arrest warrant. And the German authorities, with our HSI personnel on the ground, were at the airport when these gentlemen landed. They said that they got off the plane, kind of dancing and sure they had a drink or two on the plane. Kinda like we made it, we’re good we’re here baby.

Leah Evert-Burks: they thought they were free and clear at that point.

Brad Greenberg: they walked few hundred feet, and we’re then taken into custody by German authorities. And then from there, it was the joint effort of the US Attorney’s office working with the German authorities to where you really have to prove probable cause to hold those interventions, individuals, and that host country kind of has to have very similar laws that apply, so that they can apply the US warrant to those host laws and a judge did find that there was probable cause, and they held those individuals from March, until August of that year, and upon meeting the individuals the targets when they flew back to the United States. They said it was the worst months of their life, because the food was terrible. And they were you know kind of locked up with no books to read that we’re in a language that they can understand. And not everybody follows, you know, they the prison systems or the way that individuals incarcerated here where you do have a lot of you are incarcerated, but you still have a lot of rules that are kind of in your favor where you need you know you do have the ability to get educated, and you, you do have the ability to, you know, have books that are in your language and you have communication abilities. So these individuals are you know stuck in a foreign nation. They didn’t speak English very well. Nevertheless, could they speak, you know anything in a German language.

Leah Evert-Burks: So these were higher ups in the organization but they weren’t necessarily the king pen. So the king pen is still at large at this time. But you were able to capture him through a, an interesting, interesting scenario if you could walk us through that.

 Brad Greenberg: So, you are you referring to Soon Ah Kow? Okay, yes. Yeah, right. So Soon Ah Kow was on the FBI side and the FBI created a lure to get a Mr. Kow over to the Philippines, and the lure, you know that they created because you have to go kind of the way that the judicial system works is you have to get to a country that has an agreement with the United States for expedition purposes. And they created a lot more for a particular meeting that would occur.

And over to the Philippines, and some individuals don’t take it, but Mr. Kow obviously took it and met with the, you know, undercover and individuals that took place overseas in the Philippines.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, so yeah so, he gets off the plane and he’s immediately met by FBI agents that take him into custody.

Brad Greenberg: Correct, yeah. and you know you. I think you know in your head, you’re going for a great meeting and then you get off and your world is kind of turned upside down like salt and peppershaker. You have no idea what to expect at that point in time.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, such an interesting case I think it really displays what we talked about in brand protection stories which, you know, sometimes these real-life situations are stranger than fiction. You know who could have guessed that you know the ball would get rolling on a major investigation, with, you know, major arrests and significant dollar amounts would would come together from a request to install cable. And again, you know, playing through this scenario, you know, in thinking through all the coordination of federal agencies, local agencies, international agencies. It certainly takes a village to be able to dismantle criminal organizations, such as that we saw here.

Brad Greenberg: It does. It does.

Leah Evert-Burks: So, so, you know, again, this, this was three years of your life, which, you know, you have to be a patient federal agent right you have to make sure that the pieces are coming together properly, that it’s flowing properly that you’re following obviously legal means to put the case together. But one final question for you, Brad. If there was one word that could describe the case. The Yao Bao case that we discussed today, what would it be,

Brad Greenberg: If I had to think of one word that would sum up this investigation for a young agent. That was just embarking on his career. I would say groundbreaking.

Leah Evert-Burks: And I would think that that would be echoed from people like FBI, the US Attorney out of New Jersey. And obviously people that want to present on the case that didn’t have any association with the case, it definitely was ground groundbreaking and, you know, quite a story. So Brad, I want to thank you for joining us here today on brand protection stories our inaugural episode. And I just want to thank you for doing the hard work.

Brad Greenberg: Thank you Leah for brining me on this journey with you and I appreciate it. Anything that we can do you know as federal agents we try to do. Our jobs are to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t.

Leah Evert-Burks: This episode of Brand Protection Stories is dedicated to the memory of Chris Knowles. At the time of the Yao Bao case, Chris was the Brand Protection Manager for Deckers Brands for the United States and Canada. It was Chris, who answered Brad’s phone call.

Leah Evert-Burks: Brad’s story is a story of converging crimes, money laundering, narcotics, illicit cigarettes, financial crimes and counterfeiting. But it also reveals the power of investigation, dedication and cooperation, and the extraordinary diligence and patience it takes to see a case through.

Leah Evert-Burks: In the next episode, we talk with Andrew Love of Specialized Bicycles about an investigation and federal prosecution of a counterfeit helmet seller. How did he find him? Be careful what pictures you display on your mantel – Come along for the ride.

Leah Evert-Burks: Thanks for joining us today for this edition of Brand Protection Stories, produced by the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (or A-CAPP) @ Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. Please visit us @ A-CAPP is  a non-profit organization founded in 2009. It is the first and only academic body focusing upon the complex global issues of anti-counterfeiting and product protection of all products, across all industries, in all markets. In addition to this series, we offer certificate courses in brand protection, applied education and academic courses, executive education, student internships, live summits and virtual events, ground-breaking research, and publish the quarterly digital industry journal, The Brand Protection Professional.

Leah Evert-Burks: If you’re interested in sponsoring episodes of Brand Protection Stories please contact A-CAPP Assistant Director Kari Kammel at

Leah Evert-Burks: This is Leah Evert-Burks with A-CAPP. Until our next session, keep protecting your brands, and the world’s consumers. Keep it real.”