Three people were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Phoenix for conspiring to sell jewelry imported from the Philippines as being made by Native Americans, federal officials said Monday.
Laura Marye Wesley, 32; Christian Coxon, 46; and Waleed Sarrar, 44, were each sentenced Oct. 2 by U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes to 36 months of supervised release, according to a news release from U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Homeland Security Investigations.
Additionally, the three defendants were ordered together to pay $30,000 restitution to the The Humiovi, a Sedona store, as well as a $5,000 fine to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, the release stated. Each of them is also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment fee.
Authorities say the defendants violated the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 which prohibits the misrepresentation in marketing of American Indian or Alaska Native arts and crafts in the United States, according to the release.
Sarrar forfeited 314 pieces of counterfeit Native American style jewelry that was seized when a search warrant was served at Scottsdale Jewels in Scottsdale, the release stated. Coxon forfeited 623 pieces of counterfeit jewelry that was seized when a search warrant was served at Turquoise River Trading in San Antonio, Texas.
Wesley forfeited $4,087 seized from her father’s bank account, the release stated.
The sentencings are the result of a years-long, multi-agency investigation led by special agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement, which conducts criminal investigations of alleged violations of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.
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