Authorities pull off largest counterfeit product seizures in the USA

© Mat Hayward/
Law enforcement authorities in New York have scored a spectacular success against counterfeit fashion goods, seizing fake products worth over a billion US dollars. Two alleged counterfeiters have now been charged.

In New York, the US authorities have recently made what they say are the largest seizures of counterfeit goods to date in US history: around 220,000 counterfeit goods were taken off the market by officials of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the New York City Police Department (NYPD). The authorities estimate the market value of the counterfeit goods at about 1.03 billion US dollars (approx. 0.96 billion euros), based on manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). This is revealed in a report published in mid‑November by authorities, which subsequently filed charges against two alleged counterfeiters. According to the indictments, the two defendants allegedly distributed hundreds of thousands of counterfeit designer goods such as bags, clothing, shoes, and other luxury goods out of storage facilities in the borough of Manhattan.

//“The trafficking of counterfeit goods is anything but a victimless crime because it harms legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers. Today’s indictments show how seriously the NYPD and our federal partners take this offense.”
Edward A. Caban, NYPD Commissioner

According to the indictments, the two defendants allegedly sold counterfeit fashion products on a large scale out of a warehouse in Manhattan from January to October 2023 inclusive. One of the defendants is also alleged to have traded in counterfeit products out of another location in Manhattan. Both locations were searched by officials. In doing so, they confiscated over 83,000 counterfeit products with an estimated value of over 500 million dollars (around 460 million euros) at one of the locations – as well as a further 50,000 counterfeit products with an estimated value of around 237 million dollars (around 220 million euros) at the other location.

Both defendants now have to face trial. According to officials, the maximum possible sentence for the offenses they are accused of is ten years in prison – the judges will now decide whether and to what extent this will be imposed.

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