Southeast Alaska business owners charged for violations of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act
March 4, 2016
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced Thursday that an investigation conducted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has resulted in the filing of charges against four Southeast Alaska business owners and an employee for violations of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act (IACA).
The charges were filed as a result of an investigation conducted by United States Fish and Wildlife Service based on complaints by summer tourists who were told that bone carvings that they purchased from Alaska shops in Southeast Alaska were authentic bone carvings made by Alaska Natives or Indians, when they were not. As a result of these complaints, the USFWS started an investigation looking into local Southeast businesses misrepresenting non-native bone carvings as made by Alaska Natives or Indians in May 2014.
Alaskan Heritage located in Ketchikan is owned by Puerto Rican resident and Ketchikan business owner Gabriel T. Karim, 33, d.b.a. Alaskan Heritage
Photo courtesy Google Maps: www.google.com/maps
The United States filed charges against Puerto Rican resident and Ketchikan business owner Gabriel T. Karim, 33, d.b.a. Alaskan Heritage; Juneau resident and business operator Vinod “Vinny” L. Sippy, 38, d.b.a. Diamond Island, Icy Strait, and Gemstone Heaven; Juneau resident and business operator Norma M. Carandang, 60, d.b.a. Northstar Gift Shop; Skagway resident and business owner Rosemary V. Libert, 56, d.b.a. Lynch and Kennedy Dry Goods, Inc.; and Libert’s seasonal employee, a resident of Huntington Beach, California, Judy M. Gengler, 65, for the illegal misrepresentation of bone art carvings as made by Alaska Natives or Indians, when in fact they were made by local non-native carvers.
The maximum penalty for violating the IACA as charged is one year in prison and $100,000 fine. Arraignment dates have not been set.
Loeffler commended the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for their investigation of these cases with the assistance of Indian Arts and Crafts Board in Washington D.C. and the Alaska Attorney General’s Office – Consumer Protection Unit.
A charge is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
Source of News:
U.S. Department of Justice
Contact the Editor
Publish A Letter in SitNews
Stories In The News
photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright
and may not be reprinted without written permission from and
payment of any required fees to the proper sources.
E-mail your news &
photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.