Police: Man Sold More Than 8,000 Counterfeit Phones
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LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (STMW) – Local and federal authorities arrested a man accused of producing more than 8,000 counterfeit Motorola mobile telephones sold online and through businesses in Lincolnshire and Glenview.
After obtaining an arrest warrant, Lincolnshire and Glenview officers and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents apprehended Maxim Bolotin, 25, of Northbrook.
Police estimated Motorola’s loss at $250,000.
Bolotin was charged Thursday with two counts of possession of goods with a counterfeit mark and two counts of unauthorized use of a trademark name, all felonies.
Lincolnshire police investigator John-Erik Anderson said Friday that Bolotin is suspected of operating businesses that ostensibly sold new Motorola phones that were actually fakes with the “M” logo slapped on.
“Pretty much everything about this phone was counterfeit, including the box that it came in,” Anderson said. “What Max was doing was putting together counterfeit phones and putting them up for sale as new.”
The arrest took place at a business Bolotin owns — Maximum Communications, 1151 Waukegan Road, Glenview. He owns another business at 600 Heathrow Drive in Lincolnshire, police said, and allegedly did his refurbishing or counterfeiting in these workshops.
Anderson said Bolotin first opened the Maximum location in Lincolnshire in 2008, and Motorola has long received complaints about deficiencies in “Motorola” products sold by Bolotin on the Internet.
Anderson said Motorola’s brand-security team would sometimes discover and try to stop an online sale.
“He also worked under a bunch of different company names,” Anderson said. “Any time they would challenge an auction of his, he would change his name.”
This method allegedly helped him move more than 8,000 fake phones, Anderson said.
Authorities obtained a search warrant for Bolotin’s Lincolnshire business in November 2010, Anderson said, but needed another year and a half to collect enough evidence for an arrest. Anderson said authorities tried to contact potential victims personally, but found that it would take too long.
“There were so many that we had to send out a questionnaire,” Anderson said.
Immigration officials became involved when it appeared that Bolotin was purchasing some of his parts from overseas sources, Anderson said. During the arrest, officers also reported finding marijuana in Bolotin’s office and car, which led to a marijuana possession charge.
Bolotin’s bond was set at $500,000 bond and he will remain in Lake County Jail until bond is posted.
Bolotin’s businesses allegedly operated online as Maximum Communications, Maxim Cellular and Cellular Stream.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)