In a Show-and-Tell Stratgey, Price Exposes Underground CheatersBy News @ 11:00 AM April 19, 2012
From Fahizah Alim
State Sen. Curren D. Price Jr. (D-Culver City), accompanied by members of the Board of Equalization, went to a warehouse in Sacramento this week and held a press conference to showcase millions of dollars in confiscated products, which were displayed.
Sen. Price, flanked by Board of Equalization members
Sen. Price called the media to highlight his Senate Bill 1185, which would tackle piracy, business fraud and California’s steadily expanding underground economy.
He has partnered with the Board of Equalization to create a Centralized Intelligence Partnership, a main location for agencies to share information that will help them expose, investigate and prosecute illegal operators as well as creating a statewide evasion hotline for the public to anonymously report illegal activities.
Counterfeiters, smugglers and other illegal operators in the underground economy are depriving the state of an estimated $8 billion in taxes that could be spent on schools and other worthy causes.
“These are startling, sobering figures,” said Sen. Price. “We must capturing the bills being lost to the underground economy and protect California’s signature industries as well as consumers and taxpayers. I am making it a legislative priority to target this drain on our economy.”
Randy Silva, the acting Chief of Investigators for the Board, said the problem is bigger than one agency or one branch of government. To defeat the cancer, he said, “we need to become more organized, work more collaboratively, work with labor ands industry.”
Criminal activity includes selling off counterfeit goods as knockoff designer items, offering and paying for services under the table. They harm legitimate businesses by offering goods for significantly lower prices.