AG demands Web site end sales of memorial shirts of slain UConn football player‏

Nick Rees Oct. 27, 2009, 2:15pm

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has demanded that a Pennsylvania website immediately end sales of memorial T-shirts and towels or recently murdered University of Connecticut football player Jasper Howard or face legal action.

"Any attempt to exploit Howard's tragic death is despicable and unconscionable," Blumenthal said. "I will fight anyone seeking to exploit Howard's heartrending tragedy, as well as pursue civil penalties and forfeitures."

The Web site,, claims that proceeds from the sales will benefit Howard's unborn child. The Web site, however, does not demonstrate authorization or permission.

Authorized vendors, such as Bob's Stores, Huskyware and UConn Co-op are selling Howard memorial T-shirts with the profits going to benefit two legitimate charities in Howard's name.

By failing to register with the attorney general's Public Charities Unit, Blumenthal says, the website is in violation of state law. The memorial shirts and towels are also in violation of the law by using copyright images of Howard and the UConn logo without permission.

"The site claims all proceeds will support Howard's unborn child, but has failed to demonstrate any permission or authorization from the family or UConn," Blumenthal said. "They have also failed to register as a charity. Their unauthorized actions are illegal, breaking state statutes. Its products use Howard's name and image, and UConn logos, violating federal and state laws."

If the Presto, Penn.-based website does not immediately end sales, Blumenthal has said that he will sue the website as well as seek forfeiture of proceeds from any unauthorized sales.

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