Lexmark International, Inc. applauded the success of law enforcement authorities in obtaining a conviction and prison sentence for an individual charged with marketing counterfeit Lexmark laser cartridges.

David C. Lasota Jr., convicted of trafficking in counterfeit goods and using counterfeit marks in violation of federal law, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $63,406.80 to Lexmark.

Based on records seized in a multi-state investigation, more than 13,000 counterfeit Lexmark toner cartridges were fraudulently marketed. Working with Lexmark and Stumar Investigations, the Allegheny County Police Department in Pennsylvania, the Clifton, New Jersey, Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the United States Postal Inspection Service issued multiple search warrants in an effort to stop the sale of these toner cartridges.

This case continues efforts by Lexmark over the past several years to preserve the quality of the printing experience involving genuine, Lexmark- branded equipment. Customers using counterfeit supplies products risk poorer equipment performance, low supply yields, inferior print quality, toner or ink leakage, high cartridge failure rates and increased equipment downtime – all of which cost the customer time and money.

“We applaud this successful prosecution and we thank the authorities involved for demonstrating their commitment to protecting customers from these fraudulent activities. Counterfeiting is a serious crime that defrauds customers and we at Lexmark intend to do everything we can to support the authorities in the arrest and conviction of the responsible parties,” said Vincent J. Cole, Lexmark vice president and general counsel.

Lexmark is a founding member of the Imaging Supplies Coalition (ISC), which has launched a consumer-education initiative called “When in doubt, check it out.” To protect customers from being victimized, this program allows those who question product quality or authenticity to submit products anonymously to the ISC to determine if the supplies are counterfeit. Since the inception of the program, the ISC says counterfeit awareness has increased significantly among distribution channels. Both distributors and consumers can check the ISC Web site (http://www.isc-inc.org/) for further information on supplies fraud.

Consumers can protect themselves by purchasing genuine supplies through a manufacturer’s authorized channels. In addition, consumers should always be cautious of prices that are well below market standards.