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Legal Briefs

According to a Dec. 22 statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, Michael Bodner was arrested and charged with stealing more than $4 million from his former employer.

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According to a Dec. 22 statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, Michael Bodner was arrested and charged with stealing more than $4 million from his former employer. Neither legal sources nor the U.S. Attorney's Office could confirm details concerning Bodner's former employer, but media reports said he was the former chief financial officer for Tommy Hilfiger Handbags. Tommy Hilfiger Handbags is not involved in the legal matter. Bodner, 59, was charged with wire fraud related to his alleged activities. According to the complaint filed by the federal prosecutor's office, he is charged with writing checks to himself and two credit card companies and transferring money to himself over a period of about three years. Bodner, who could be sentenced for up to 20 years in prison and charged a maximum fine of $250,000 if convicted, was not available for comment.

Chanel Inc. filed a trademark counterfeiting and infringement lawsuit against Janet Stevens and Tara Stevens for allegedly selling counterfeit handbags through more than a dozen Web sites and online aliases. The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Southern Florida on Dec. 20. Chanel asked the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction, damages and trial costs. The defendants could not be reached for comment.

Separately, Chanel also filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Teng Da Trading Inc. and Xiang Yuan Fan, also known as Shawn Fan, in a Manhattan federal court. According to legal documents filed on Dec. 7, Chanel alleged Fan sold handbags and wallets that infringed on its interlocking CC monogram trademark. Chanel asked the court for a permanent injunction, damages and trial costs. Fan could not be reached for comment.

True Religion Apparel Inc. and Guru Denim filed a lawsuit against True Apparel Co. for allegedly infringing on its trademarks and trade names. The lawsuit was filed in a Massachusetts federal court on Dec. 18. True Religion and Guru asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions, damages and trial costs. According to the complaint, True Apparel sold custom jeans through a Web site under brand names that infringed on its "True Religion" and "True Religion Brand" trademarks. True Apparel sells jeans and apparel under the "True Apparel" and "True Jeans" trademarks.
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