A New Orleans man was sentenced today to 41 months in prison for his role in a coupon counterfeit ring using the Silk Road online marketplace, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite Jr. of the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Beau Wattigney, 30, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit trademark counterfeiting before U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle of the Eastern District of Louisiana. Judge Lemelle sentenced Wattigney and immediately remanded him into custody.
In connection with his plea, Wattigney admitted that between May 2012 and November 2014, he used the online monikers PurpleLotus, GoldenLotus and CouponKing to sell counterfeit coupons for various goods and services on the Silk Road, a covert online marketplace largely for illicit goods. Wattigney admitted that he created and manufactured the fraudulent coupons with the assistance of several co-conspirators and that they designed the coupons to look like original print-at-home manufacturers’ coupons by using the companies’ trademarks. According to the plea agreement, Wattigney sold over $1 million worth of counterfeit coupons and victimized more than 50 United States-based businesses.
The FBI’s Philadelphia Division investigated the case, with assistance from the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office. Senior Counsel Marie-Flore Johnson and Robert Wallace of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan Ginsberg of the Eastern District of Louisiana prosecuted the case.