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Coalition formed to protect fans from counterfeit MLB All-Star Game merchandise

Major League Baseball, the Kansas City Royals, the Kansas City Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are collaborating on an Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force to crack down on the production and sale of counterfeit merchandise and tickets during the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Week in Kansas City (July 6 -10).  

     During a press conference at Kauffman Stadium, officials from Major League Baseball, the Kansas City Royals, and the Kansas City Police Department made clear that counterfeiting and selling without the requisite licenses and/or permits is a crime under federal, state, and/or local laws. Law enforcement officials will be aggressively enforcing those laws during MLB All-Star Week in order to protect consumers from purchasing substandard products as well as to protect legitimate manufacturers and vendors who invest money and other resources to provide consumers with high quality, licensed products. According to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), businesses worldwide annually lose an estimated $600 billion to counterfeiting.  

     Undercover investigators will be on the lookout for counterfeit merchandise and tickets throughout Kansas City during MLB All-Star Week, including in and around Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Convention Center/Bartle Hall (home of Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest) as well as at manufacturing facilities, retail stores and sidewalk vendor locations.  

     Counterfeit merchandise and tickets will be subject to seizure and anyone found guilty of producing, distributing, offering for sale, or selling counterfeit merchandise or tickets will be subject to civil and criminal penalties that could include fines of up to 2 million dollars and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years under federal, state and local laws.

          "Major League Baseball and the Royals work with local, state and Federal law enforcement agencies to protect our fans taking part in 2012 MLB All-Star Week and punish counterfeiters to the fullest extent of the law," said Ethan Orlinsky, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Major League Baseball Properties. "The Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force will take all necessary steps to enforce the laws that protect fans from counterfeit merchandise and tickets to ensure fans have the best experience possible and lasting memories of All-Star Week in Kansas City."

     During today's event, the Task Force displayed official Major League Baseball merchandise bearing the logos of Major League Baseball, the 2012 All-Star Game and/or Kansas City Royals and pointed out the official Major League Baseball holograms, hang tags, and/or other labeling that consumers should look for in order to ensure the products they purchase are genuine.  

     Major League Baseball offered the following tips to help fans avoid purchasing counterfeit souvenirs:
    

  • Look for the hologram sticker or holographic hangtag with raised red baseball stitching design.
  • Look for a sewn-in or screenprinted label or notice identifying a licensee that has been authorized by Major League Baseball Properties to produce "official" licensed merchandise.
  • Shop at MLB-authorized retail locations, such as the Official Team Store and MLB.com, the official web site of MLB - rather than buying items from itinerant street vendors, flea markets, or other questionable sources.
  • Beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel.
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