Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $400,000)
In 2004 the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) created the Anti-Piracy Unit, now called Illicit Pharmaceutical and Counterfeit Unit (IPCU), to aggressively target the manufacture, sales, and distribution of counterfeit merchandise, and identify criminal gangs, organized crime elements, and terrorism groups involved in these activities throughout the greater Los Angeles (LA) area. The IPCU works with city attorneys to prosecute intellectual property (IP) crime and is part of the Southern California IP Enforcement (SCIPE) Task Force. The IPCU has seen an uptick in two IP crimes involving public health and safety, a focus of this solicitation: (1) Counterfeit/illicit pharmaceutical drugs and (2) Counterfeit electronics/automobile parts. The IPCU, in partnership with the Los Angeles City Attorney (LACA), is requesting $400,000 in grant funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to implement the 2021-2023 Protect LA from Counterfeit Goods and Product Piracy Program. This program will implement strategies to reduce and prevent the spread of counterfeit/illicit pharmaceutical drugs and electronics/ automobile parts throughout the LA region and to expand the efforts of LACA by using State of California Unfair Competition Laws to seek restrictive injunctions and significant financial penalties to abate counterfeit goods that threaten public health and safety and deprive IP owners the fruits of their labor.
This application was given priority consideration and provided verification that this project offer enhancements to public safety in economically distressed communities (Qualified Opportunity Zones).