News Column

Authorities Seize Goods in Hunt for Counterfeits

Nov. 16, 2012

Lauren Williams, Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Federal authorities were on the hunt for fashion no-nos this week, as they executed warrants as part of an effort targeting counterfeit merchandise, officials announced Friday.

Orange County special agents with Homeland Security Investigations seized more than $200,000 worth of goods this week, working with Huntington Beach and Newport Beach police along with other agencies targeting retailers suspected of selling fake goods, according to a statement from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees HSI.

Among the targeted businesses were retail kiosks near the Huntington Beach Pier and Newport Beach homes of individuals suspected of selling counterfeit goods, the agency said.

Other locations included a Tustin hair salon, Garden Grove shoe store and homes in Westminster, authorities said.

The evidence seized is expected to be turned over to the Orange County district attorney's office for review if criminal charges are warranted.

Operation Fashion Faux Pas began in May, and in August agents for HSI working with local police found fake designer accessories including hats, sunglasses and leather goods at Cobbler's Corner in Laguna Beach, the agency said.

The store's owner and suppliers have been indicted on state criminal charges, according to the ICE statement.

Authorities estimated that a total of $820,000 worth of goods has been seized over the course of the operation.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 the Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.)

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