An Indianapolis man arrested in Mercer County and convicted of a federal charge of trademark counterfeiting has filed an appeal.
Mamadou Diallo, 42, a native of Guinea, West Africa, was found guilty by a jury in April 2006. He was sentenced Aug. 16 to 6 months’ home detention, 3 years’ probation and $2,600 restitution.
His appeal notice did not specify the basis for the appeal, and Thomas Livingston of the Federal Public Defender’s Office, Pittsburgh, did not return a message.
Diallo was stopped by state police for a traffic violation July 15, 2005, while westbound on Interstate 80 in Wolf Creek Township. Police said they found about 300 pieces of knockoff Louis Vuitton, Prada, Coach, Kate Spade, Bluberry and Chanel designer clothing, jewelry and handbags in his van.
At trial, Livingston said prosecutors had shown that Diallo had the items, that he knew they were counterfeit and that he had trafficked in them with the intention to sell them at his flea market stall in Indianapolis.
But, Livingston argued, Diallo had not “used” the counterfeit marks by means such as showing them to someone or selling the items. The use of the mark is an element of the offense that prosecutors must be able to prove for a conviction.
The jury apparently disagreed with Livingston, and U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Hardiman, Pittsburgh — who has since been appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia — concluded that Diallo could not legally transport goods he knew were counterfeit and that he intended to sell.
The appellate court has docketed the appeal, which was filed Sept. 6.
Diallo got a break in sentencing when Judge Nora Barry Fischer sided with him on several disputed factors. She concluded that the value of the goods was $10,000, not the $215,000 estimated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Pittsburgh, and went against the recommended 33 to 41 months in prison.
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