LA Task Force Estimates Millions Lost Due To Counterfeiting.

LOS ANGELES, December 23, 2008 -- At a press conference today, the Los Angeles Anti-Piracy Task Force released a status report on the subject of counterfeit and pirated goods estimating the loss of millions in revenues.

The report, technically prepared by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, estimates that L.A County government loses over $40 million in tax revenues and the City of Los Angeles loses over $17 million in lost revenue due to the sale of counterfeit goods.

The report was released in the wake of massive raids conducted in recent weeks throughout the Los Angeles area by law enforcement officials, resulting in the confiscation of millions of dollars worth of bogus merchandise.

Of particular interest to the police and the task force was an area of L.A. known as Santee Area which is known for serving as a retail and storage hotspot for counterfeit goods.

The back alley economy fueled by piracy and counterfeiting in L.A. diverted $2 billion from the legitimate retail sector, cost 106,000 jobs and $5 billion in wages, according to the report.

The task force was comprised of members from: the Los Angeles Police, the L.A. County Sheriff's Office, the Los Angeles City Counsel, the Los Angeles Supervisor's Office, the Mayor's Office, the Governor's Office, the Superintendent of Public Education, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), the U.S. Attorney's Office Cyber and IT Crime Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Greater Los Angeles Area Chamber, Los Angeles Business Council, the Central City Association, the Motion Picture Association, the Recording Industry Association of America and the Entertainment Industry Business Council.

The President of the IACC, Bob Barchieshi, commented on the report by saying, "In a time when every industry is hemorrhaging jobs and capital and every major U.S. city is in dire straits, the loss of tax revenue because of these deadbeat thieves is devastating and could help fund more teachers, police and hospital staff throughout Los Angeles County."

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