Popular and pricey Yeti-branded tumblers being sold at Kmart, ABC Stores, and possibly at Naval Base Guam as late as 2022 allegedly were fake, according to a recently-unsealed federal search warrant application by a special agent of Homeland Security Investigations.
The March 18, 2022 warrant was to search the offices of Sky Shoppe USA Inc. in Harmon for records, after an investigation that included undercover operations. Sky Shoppe distributed the alleged counterfeit products.
The December prior, Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency officers seized a box of 2,100 Yeti-labeled tumblers consigned to Sky Shoppe. HSI special agent Erwin Fejeran obtained a sample of one of the purported Yeti labels, then met with Yeti’s lawyer’s via videoconference call on January 6, 2022.
“YETI representatives advised that YETI LLC conducted a controlled purchase of five (5) purported 30oz YETI Rambler Tumblers from KMART Guam,” Mr. Fejeran wrote in his application for the search warrant. “Through their brand investigation, YETI identified Guam based business SKY SHOPPE USA Inc. as the distributor of counterfeit YETI products. HSI SA Fejeran displayed one of the YETI labels seized by GCQA during the video conference call with YETI representatives. Thereafter, SA Fejeran was informed that KMART personnel pulled 214 purported YETI Tumblers from the store floor and returned them to SKY SHOPPE USA sometime in late October/early November 2021. SA Fejeran was also informed that SKY SHOPPE USA supplied KMART with various products since September 2016, and purported YETI Tumblers in 2021.”
Within a week, one of the attorneys provided HSI with an affidavit that both the five samples from Kmart and the one sample from the Customs seizure all were counterfeits.
HSI officers the following month went undercover using government “Purchase of Evidence” funds to buy Yeti-branded “Ramblers” from ABC Stores at Guam Premium Outlets, Micronesia Mall, Carlrose Building, and Pacific Place. Yeti’s corporate attorneys later that month verified that all 15 samples were counterfeits.
According to the affidavit’s timeline, the undercover purchases happened more than two months after an official from Sky Shoppe – Jerald Tan – was questioned about the alleged counterfeits following the December 15, 2021 Customs inspection.
“During the inspection, Mr. Jerald TAN stated that he wholesales to Kmart, ABC Stores, and the Navy Base,” the Fejeran affidavit quotes Customs Officer Danielle Cagayan as saying. “Mr. TAN stated that Sky Shoppe wholesales YETI style cups in different sizes, capacities and colors. Upon discovering the labels, I asked Mr. TAN if they sell YETI products and he said no. Mr. TAN said he didn’t know how the labels ended up in the container.”
There are no further publicly disclosed records in the federal court’s archive related to this investigation and the special agent’s assertions.