On September 20, 2021, a federal court in South Carolina sentenced Viktors Suhorukovs, a Latvian citizen, to more than four years in federal prison and ordered that he must pay over $4.5 million in restitution, after he pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1341 as part of a plea agreement. Suhorukovs was arrested and charged in early 2020 in connection with two criminal trademark renewal solicitation scams involving entities called “Patent and Trademark Office” and “Patent and Trademark Bureau.”
Evidence showed that Suhorukovs:
- Created a false impression that these entities were the official United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- Misrepresented to registrants that their registrations were going to expire earlier than they actually were and that, if the registrants authorized renewal by agreeing to payment of “fees” (which were substantially higher than the fees required by the USPTO), the registrations would be renewed.
- Did not, and legally could not, renew the registrations.