This study developed a Product Counterfeiting Database (PCD) as a source of data on product counterfeiting schemes, offenders, and victims assembled from open source information.
Schemes were coded in the Product Counterfeiting Database (PCD) and had to meet specific inclusion criteria.
- First, the scheme involved illegal activities related to counterfeiting of trademarked physical goods and/or packaging.
- Second, the scheme was carried out in identifiable locations during a specified time period (as opposed to a vague allegation). Schemes are typically committed over a prolonged period of time and involve multiple locations inside and often outside U.S. borders.
- Third, the scheme (or any portion of it) was committed in the U.S. and led to a criminal indictment in a U.S. court between 2000 and 2015.
Schemes, the main unit of analysis, represent the overall operation of the crime and components to carry it out. Schemes are characterized by specific offenders (i.e., individuals and businesses), criminal activities and techniques, objectives, locations, time periods, and victims (i.e., consumers and owners).
An individual offender is anyone who was indicted in a U.S. court for their participation in activities related to, or in furtherance of a product counterfeiting scheme meeting the Product Counterfeiting Database (PCD) inclusion criteria. Individual offenders fulfilled a wide array of different roles, including production, import from foreign suppliers, distribution, warehousing/storage, tampering, repackaging, relabeling, theft (for resale), direct sale to consumers (including usage of counterfeit drugs on patients) and support roles such as bookkeeping and laundering money, among others.
Business offenders simply needed to be involved in the commission of the scheme and not necessarily indicted to be included. A business offender was a legally recognized business organization which was 1) designated to provide goods/services to customers; 2) owned/operated by at least one offender (indicted or unindicted co-conspirator) involved in the scheme; and 3) had some role in the preparation or execution of the scheme.
Individual consumer victims are defined as individual consumers directly harmed as a result of a product counterfeiting crime scheme.
Trademark owning victims are defined as those trademark owners directly harmed as a result of a product counterfeiting crime scheme. Losses include monetary, damage to brand reputations, loss of customers and contracts, and costs of brand protection, litigation, and enforcement.
The relational data details how files (and variables) are associated or related to each other.
Longitudinal: Cohort / Event-based
Product counterfeiting crime schemes, offenders, and victims where an individual offender was indicted in a United States court.
Data file: Scheme-Data.dta (n=196, vars=35)
Researchers gathered public information on attributes of counterfeiting schemes, including industry involved, length of scheme in years, number and type of victims, amount of illicit revenue generated from scheme, countries outside the U.S. linked to scheme, and several variables related to indictments, convictions, incarcerations and attributes of the investigations.
Data file: Offender-Individual-Data.dta (n=551, vars=16)
Researchers gathered information on individual offenders including age during scheme, sex, race/ethnicity, citizenship status, conviction and incarceration, sentencing, and deportation/fugitive status.
Data file: Offender-Business-Data.dta (n=310, vars=5)
Researchers collected public data on whether the business was a shell company, whether the business was owned/operated by the indicted individual offender, and whether the business itself was indicted or convicted for involvement in the scheme.
Data file: Victim-Consumer-Data.dta (n=54, vars=8)
Researchers collected public data on the victim's age, sex, race/ethnicity, citizenship status, the type of counterfeit product that victimized the consumer, whether the victim was physically harmed by the scheme, and if the victim had an interpersonal relationship with the offender.
Data file: Victim-Trademark-Owner-Data.dta (n=146, vars=5)
Researchers collected public data on the number of schemes that victimized the trademark owner, the type of industry, whether the trademark owner was a multinational business, and the estimated monetary losses to the trademark owner.
Data file: Relational-Data.xlsx
Researchers created four tabs, one each for Offender-Individual-Data, Offender-Business-Data, Victim-Consumer-Data, and Victim-Trademark-Owner-Data listing the locations of each scheme (the United States and 42 foreign countries). The tabs also contain references to relationships between the ID variables for each of the four datasets.