Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Tuesday that his office won a permanent injunction banning a peddler of counterfeit and pirated music, movies and video games on memory cards from returning to the 60-block area of downtown’s Fashion District.

According to the Superior Court order, Leopoldo Lara is also prohibited from owning or operating any business relating to commonly counterfeited items without prior written notification.

A judgment for $1.8 million in civil penalties was suspended as long as Lara is in compliance with the terms of the injunction.

“We will not allow rampant music piracy to undermine one of L.A.’s signature industries, robbing our work force of precious jobs, depriving our city of needed tax revenue and frustrating artists’ creativity,” Feuer said.

Lara, 29, has been selling counterfeit and pirated goods in the Fashion District since at least 2003, Feuer said. Recently, Lara began selling music and video games on memory cards, small portable electronic data storage devices, according to the city attorney.

Law enforcement has documented more than 20 incidents involving Lara, including arrests, four convictions, and 10 cease-and-desist letters, Feuer said.

Lara has sold, or possessed for sale, more than 11,500 counterfeit and pirated items with an estimated retail value in excess of $280,000, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

Memory cards sold in downtown Los Angeles can store 800 songs or more and are more difficult for law enforcement to spot than CDs and DVDs.

Feuer filed suit against Lara last month in what is believed to be the first civil enforcement action for memory card piracy by a prosecutor in the United States.

City News Service

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