Massive Pokemon, Hello Kitty Counterfeiter Arrested in Los Angeles

When it comes to anime merchandise, fans often expect to pay top dollar for collectibles. The price alone of buying licensed toys is plenty before you factor in shipping, taxes, and more. It is no wonder counterfeit goods are on the rise, but it seems Pokemon is on the lookout.

And why is that? Well, it turns out the company helped nab a lucrative counterfeiter in the United States who had millions of dollars of goods waiting to be sold.

According to a report by Anime News Network, the Los Angeles police department arrested a man named Wan Piao towards the end of November. The District Attorney's Office confirmed the man owned a toy import store in California, and he's been charged with manufacturing counterfeit items.

The report says Piao possessed more than $1.4 million USD of fake goods upon his arrest. These items included everything from backpacks to toys and trading cards. Series like Pokemon were found amongst these goods along with Hello Kitty and Super Mario.

For Piao, the charges were quick to rack up. The man is being charged with seven felonies including counterfeiting registered marks as well as fraud and embezzlement.

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Pokemon: The Series is now airing new episodes weekly in Japan, but unfortunately is still not officially licensed for an English language release as of this writing. Staff confirmed for the new series include Daiki Tomiyasu serving as chief director for OLM, Maki Odaira as series director, Kunihiko Yuyama as creative supervisor, Shoji Yonemura overseeing series construction, Shuhei Yasuda serving as character designer, Masafumi Mima as sound director, Yuki Hayashi as series composer.

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