WANTAGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three people on Long Island have been accused of selling counterfeit luxury goods, including Louis Vuitton handbags and Burberry trench coats.
The arrests were made on Thanksgiving night during a raid by Nassau County police at the Lavish Creations store on Wantagh Avenue.
Nassau County police said detectives conducted undercover purchases on Nov. 6 and Nov. 12, and twice on Thanksgiving.
“They were very shocked when we came through the door about 10:15 that night. We stopped the shopping and a couple of the kids were quite stunned,” Det. Sgt. Patrick Ryder told CBS2’s Lou Young.
The Thursday night raid began with an undercover buying a fake Louis Vuitton. It had the logo but not the quality. The officer paid $230 for it — less than it would cost if it were real, but more than it’s worth, Young reported.
Counterfeiting is such big business because the mark ups are immense.
“We seized approximately a retail value of over $1 million of counterfeit goods,” Ryder told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
According to authorities, a few thousand dollars in cash and a laptop computer believed to be used in the operation were also netted in the bust.
Fake Holiday Bargains Seized. Counterfeit Goods Bust on LI. pic.twitter.com/3ONB2fm1w2
— Lou Young (@LouYoungNY) December 1, 2014
Officers also executed a search warrant at the Levittown home of one of the suspects, where a large amount of counterfeit merchandise was recovered, police said.
“That individual we followed from her residence to this store, where she would stock her items that she sold,” he said.
Neighbors told Young the whole thing seemed fishy.
“Especially this time of year, holiday time. Everybody’s trying to make some money. We’d want to do it the right way,” Seth Levy said.
Ryder said the goods were shipped from China.
Paulo R. Barbosa and Kristy Barbosa, both of Harrison, New Jersey, and Paula Ligotti, of Levittown, were charged with four counts of counterfeiting in the second degree.
They appeared in court for arraignment on Friday.
The business is believed to have been operating for about two years, authorities said.
Buyers are cautioned to be especially wary of counterfeit children’s clothing. Many of the knock-off outfits do not meet U.S. safety standards, Young reported.
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