Columbia residents Clint Rodgers, 48, and Tabitha Rodgers, 42, pleaded guilty to importing hundreds of counterfeit DVDs of the Disney films “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin” and selling them on eBay.
They were receiving assistance from at least two individuals whose identities and legal charges were not disclosed by the Western District of Missouri’s news release on the matter.
Tabitha Rodgers pleaded guilty on a felony count of criminal copyright infringement for profit. Her husband pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of criminal infringement of a copyright.
Clint Rodgers received over 443 shipments of DVDs in July 2014 from Hong Kong-based companies that were notorious for selling and exporting counterfeit goods, according to the news release.
Homeland Security Investigations intercepted two of these shipments, one containing 200 “Beauty and the Beast” copies and the other containing 260 “Aladdin” copies, en route to the couple’s home.
In February and March 2015, two undercover agents purchased several of these counterfeit DVDs on eBay from the couple, who were falsely presenting them as authentic.
The agents also found that several past customers had complained about the DVDs not working.
Upon the HSI conducting search and seizure at the couple’s home Aug. 25, Tabitha Rodgers confessed to knowingly selling counterfeit DVDs imported from a supplier in Hong Kong.
She is subject to up to five years in federal prison, while her husband may receive up to one year.
Additionally, the plea agreement dictates that Tabitha Rodgers pay a money judgment to the government. The exact amount she must pay has yet to be determined, but it will be proportional to her share of the profit from the couple’s illegal activities.