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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Border Patrol seized fake NBA championship rings valued at $560,000


 The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency busted a counterfeit shipment of National Basketball Association championship rings at Los Angeles International Airport. This crackdown comes before the sport’s pre-season start on Sept. 30.


 Photo credit Fox News
In a press release sent out Wednesday, the federal agency reported there were 28 rings seized that violated protected trademarks and designs for 11 NBA teams. The report also noted that if found genuine, the seized rings would have an approximate manufacturer suggested retail price of $560,000.
The discovery was made by U.S. CBP officers working in the airport’s cargo operations department. During an enforcement exam, the officers found the shipment had arrived from China and had a final destination in Arizona. 
 Photo Credit Fox News

“The rings were found inside of a wooden box, with the apparent intent to be sold as a collection,” the report elaborated. “The quantity and estimated MSRP value of counterfeit items seized are clear indications of the profits that are involved in the illegal trade of counterfeit NBA championship rings.”
This seizure valued at over half a million dollars comes at a time when businesses and the U.S. government are trying to curb intellectual property theft from china.
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Baton Rouge Store Arest Made - $1 Million in Counterfeit Items Seized from


Bocar Ba, 43, was arrested and charged with illegal use of counterfeit trademark in connection with the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods.
"It runs the spectrum from counterfeit Nike shoes, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Coach merchandise, clothing, pursues, shoes," said Bryan Cox Public Affairs Officer with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Box after box was carried out of Fashion Express on Airline Highway as investigators took evidence they say was counterfeit merchandise worth more than $1 million.
Agents made one arrest during the raid and seized 3,082 pieces of fake designer shoes and purses.
Fashion Express is located at 5956 Airline Hwy.

The bust is a result of an ongoing joint investigation between US Immigration Customs Enforcement and the state's Attorney General's Office.
Bryan Cox said nationwide, businesses lose up to $2 billion each year to counterfeit vendors. He says every dollar made by a counterfeiter, is a dollar taken from businesses playing by the rules.
"Those are businesses that pay taxes, employ workers, contribute to the economy," said Cox
Cox says counterfeit items are usually brought in from overseas.

"If you know what a legitimate Michael Kors bag is, you can feel the material and see the quality of construction; just is not what a legitimate item would be. Not the same material, not the same weight the leather is of lower quality," he said
There are trained investigators who know the difference between illegal and real merchandise. He says those who counterfeit and are caught can face criminal and civil charges.
"It's illegal, it's a problem and it's something that we're looking for and we are going to find you."

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Monday, May 1, 2017

$1.5M in Counterfeit Goods Seized & 5 Arrested in Nassau County

Photo: Alyssa Reichel, Fern Ciraolo, Jack Huzarsky and Elsa Bonilla
Search warrants conducted Monday morning led to five arrests and the recovery of an estimated $1.5 million worth of counterfeit designer pocketbooks, watches, jewelry and clothing, law enforcement officials said at a Tuesday press conference.
Among the many items recovered during the Nassau County counterfeiting sting, a Hermes birkin bag, which retails for $21,000, was being sold for only a couple hundred dollars, police say.
The birkin, along with a Chanel bag were some of the fake designer items recovered from a Woodmere location. Alyssa Reichel, 49, of North Woodmere, was arrested for the second time for selling fake merchandise out of Ego Trip inside the Cheveux Day Spa and Salon, located at 964 Broadway, police say.

A Chanel bag, which retails for $3,000 to $4,000, and a birkin bag were being sold by Reichel out of a North Woodmere location for a couple hundred dollars each, police say.
The recovered goods, taken from locations in Hewlett, Woodmere, Syosset and Westbury, were being sold out of homes, businesses and cars, police say.
Fern Ciraolo, 53, of Hewlett Harbor, was arrested after police conducted a search warrant at her home. “When we executed that warrant, there was a strong odor of marijuana in the house,” Nassau County Det. Sgt. Patrick Ryder said.
Police say they recovered marijuana, MDMA and acid from the home.

Fern Ciraolo’s 21-year-old son, Justin Ciraolo, was arrested and charged with felony drug possession.

Justin Ciraolo via NCPD
Others arrested during the search warrants were Jack Huzarsky, 74, of Syosset, and Elsa Bonilla, 31, of Westbury. Police also conducted a search warrant in the Hempstead area, but the woman was not at home at the time. An outstanding warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Recovered goods from the Syosset location.
Recovered goods from the Syosset location.
Recovered goods from the Hewlett location.
Recovered goods from the Westbury location.
Recovered goods from the Hempstead location.
Selling fake merchandise is a nonviolent, “housewife” crime that isn’t normally viewed by the public as a serious crime.
However, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas says counterfeiting is not a victimless crime. In fact, counterfeiting is a felony and those convicted face up to four years incarceration.
Counterfeit products are often synonymous with child labor and deplorable conditions, officials say. Fake goods are not tested and may contain toxic materials. Fake electronic equipment have been known to explode or items that people put on their skin or lips have caused burns, Singas says.
Counterfeiting also costs American businesses, including mom and pop stores, more than $250 billion annually, Singas says.
Homeland Security Inspector Jason Molina says all the goods recovered from these search warrants will be destroyed.
“The holiday season is prime time for counterfeiters,” Singas said. “The message for consumers is to be vigilant and buy only from trusted retailers.”

How do you know if a good is counterfeit or not?

  • High-end brands do not sell their items out of cars, houses or on the street.
  • Check for stitching and the quality of the goods.
  • Logos may be blurred out or have subtle spelling errors, such as a "Bolex" watch instead of a Rolex watch.
  • “If it’s too good to be true, it is,” Singas says.
Fern Ciraolo was charged with two counts of second-degree counterfeiting. Huzarsky was charged with second-degree counterfeiting. Reichel was charged with two counts of second-degree counterfeiting. Bonilla was charged with four counts of second-degree counterfeiting.
All four who face counterfeiting chargers were issued a desk appearance ticket returnable at First District Court in Hempstead. Justin Ciraolo, who was charged with four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, will be arraigned Tuesday at First District Court.
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