Guilty plea in trademark renewal solicitation scam

On January 12, 2021, in federal court in South Carolina, Viktors Suhorukovs, a Latvian citizen, pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1341 as part of a plea agreement. Suhorukovs had been arrested and charged in early 2020 in connection with two trademark renewal solicitation scams involving entities called “Patent and Trademark Office” and “Patent and Trademark Bureau.”   

The indictment charged that Suhorukovs created a false impression that these entities were the official United States Patent and Trademark Office. It further charged that he 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. The indictment charges that he did not (and legally could not) renew the registrations. 

Under the plea agreement, Suhorukovs has agreed to forfeit all the assets the government seized, including over $2.2 million in bank accounts in the name of "Patent and Trademark Office, LLC" and $198,000 in bank accounts in the name of "Patent and Trademark Bureau, LLC." Suhorukovs has also agreed to forfeit $1.28 million in checks which he tried to deposit (but which the bank held) in another account belonging to "Patent and Trademark Office, LLC."  

The plea agreement requires Suhorukovs to cooperate fully with the government to identify all victims of these scams and to make full restitution to them. He has also agreed to cooperate fully (and testify truthfully) in all other federal, state, and local investigations and prosecutions concerning other criminal activity of which he has knowledge.