Their bio on Jam Base chalks it up to a "magical combination of talent, perseverance and opportunity," but, whatever their secret, Forever the Sickest Kids has enjoyed a remarkably long run in the music business. The Dallas-based pop-punk band managed to land a major-label record deal months after its formation in 2006 and has since released a handful of decent-selling albums, made appearances on MTV and Conan O'Brien, and joined the Vans Warped Tour. Their new album is set to be released on June 25.
But surviving seven years in the music industry doesn't necessarily bring riches, and lead singer Jonathan Cook eventually turned to other means to help support himself. Specifically, he started selling counterfeit Rolex watches on Craigslist. He admitted as much in a statement released last month following his arrest by Dallas police for selling counterfeit goods.
Before being arrested, I was not aware of how serious such a transaction was and through my experience I have learned that it does not matter how or where I purchased the watches. Simply presenting an item for sale with a false trademark logo is a criminal offense, even if it is well known that the item is a fake.
I am now aware of the financial harm that the distribution of counterfeit property can cause to others, and that this activity is a very serious matter with serious consequences. As a result I will no longer participate in, nor support anyone that engages in this type of activity no matter what the counterfeit item is.
As a member of our band, Forever The Sickest kids, it has been my desire to be a positive role model to our friends and fans. As a result of this experience I would like this statement to be considered both informative and serve as a warning to other young people.
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The charges against Cook have since been dropped, but his public apology has failed to mollify Rolex. The watchmaker hit Cook with a federal lawsuit yesterday accusing him of trademark infringement and counterfeiting.
The lawsuit doesn't say how long Cook had been selling the watches, just that Rolex's investigative team first spotted Cook's Craigslist ad in late November and arranged to buy 15 of the watches in person. The Rolex investigators were accompanied by police, who seized the watches Cook was carrying and found another 20 in his Burleson home.
Cook's brief foray into the replica watch business could prove ridiculously costly. Rolex is demanding "up to $2,000,000 for each trademark that [Cook] has counterfeited and infringed." In other words, a judge could force Cook to pay Rolex $70 million in damages.
Here's hoping that new album sells well.