Federal authorities in New York City have announced the largest U.S. seizure of counterfeit goods, consisting of handbags, shoes and other luxury merchandise valued at more than $1 billion.
Two people were charged with trafficking the knockoffs from a New York City storage unit and other locations from January through October, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.
Photographs released by prosecutors showed shelves stacked with counterfeit wallets and bags in one location and handbags hanging from hooks from floor to ceiling in another.
“The seizures announced today consist of merchandise with over a billion dollars in estimated retail value, the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in U.S. history,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “This is a testament to the commitment of this Office and its law enforcement partners to combat counterfeit trafficking in New York City.”
New York Police Department Commissioner Edward Caban said in a statement that selling knockoff goods “harms legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers,” calling it “anything but a victimless crime.”
The two men charged could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.