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Published:July 14th, 2007 12:09 EST
ICE probe leads to indictment of Bakersfield convenience store owner

ICE probe leads to indictment of Bakersfield convenience store owner

By SOP newswire

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The owner of a Bakersfield convenience store faces federal charges for trafficking in counterfeit DVDs following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

Daljit Singh Sidhu, 42, of Bakersfield, is named in an indictment handed down today charging him with trafficking in counterfeit goods, three counts of trafficking in counterfeit labels, and one count of criminal copyright infringement. Sidhu is the co-owner of the India Currency Exchange and Discount Mart located at 250 White Lane.

The indictment alleges that Sidhu sold and rented counterfeit DVD movies from December 2005 through December 2006 out of the Bakersfield store. According to the indictment, the counterfeit DVDs were movies produced by Yash Raj Films, Inc., Video Sound, and Spark Media, Inc. In March 2006, ICE agents executed a search at the business, seizing more than 4,000 counterfeit DVDs.

The charges stem from an ICE investigation into the India Currency Exchange, an illegal money transmitter business operating out of the Discount Mart. In April 2006, Sidhu and three other Bakersfield men were indicted on federal charges for operating an illegal money transmitter business. According to the earlier indictment, from January 2002 through March 2006, the business transmitted more than $6 million from the United States to foreign locations. The charges against one of the suspects were dismissed. Sidhu and the remaining two defendants are scheduled to stand trial on those charges November 19.

Meanwhile, Sidhu is scheduled to be arraigned in Fresno August 6 on the charges contained in the latest indictment. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted on the five counts related to the sale of the counterfeit DVDs.