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Houston Region Male Sentenced for Advertising, Mailing Counterfeit Indigenous American Products | USAO-WDTX

SAN ANTONIO – A Kingwood guy was sentenced in federal courtroom in San Antonio Tuesday to 5 years of probation for mail fraud and misrepresentation of Indian Products below the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

According to court docket files, Kevin Charles Kowalis, 60, fraudulently promoted and marketed jewellery on the internet that he explained as “Native American Indian Handmade,” “genuine Indian handcrafted,” “Zuni,” and “Navajo.”  He experienced acquired the counterfeit jewellery from a producer in the Philippines unaffiliated with any federally identified Native American tribe.  Kowalis fulfilled an get of the jewelry to a San Antonio-based mostly client, mailing several deals through the U.S. Postal Assistance.  In addition to the five-yr probation sentence, Kowalis was purchased to forfeit his inventory and pay restitution to a victimized artist.

“Fraud can come in numerous varieties but often carries the intent to deceive a victim,” stated U.S. Legal professional Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas.  “Offenders like this defendant victimize both of those our cherished Indigenous American local community and people who believe that they are gathering genuine pieces of Indigenous American society.  We will not stand idle although another person normally takes benefit of our citizens and our federal means.”

“This sentencing is crucial in the fight to close this style of fraud. Our dedicated group of unique agents will work on behalf of the Department of the Interior and the Indian Arts and Crafts Board to guard American Indian and Alaska Indigenous artists and the consumers who acquire reliable Indigenous American art and craftwork,” explained Assistant Director Edward J. Grace of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Office of Legislation Enforcement. “We thank our partners at the U.S. Office of Justice for their support with this investigation.”

“For people offering counterfeit Indian artwork and craftwork it is significant to know that anywhere you are we will diligently perform to find and prosecute you under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act,” said Director Meridith Stanton of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Indian Arts and Crafts Board.  “This circumstance gives a vivid demonstration of that determination.”

The USFWS Workplace of Law Enforcement investigated the circumstance with the aid of the U.S. Section of the Interior’s Indian Arts and Crafts Board.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Calve prosecuted the case.