Sweep takes counterfeit goods off street


Last minute bargain hunters weren’t the only ones checking out the wares in Fayetteville area shopping centers and flea markets on the last weekend before Christmas. North Carolina Secretary of State Agents led an enforcement sweep on Saturday that resulted in the seizure of counterfeit designer apparel and accessories with an estimated retail value of $805,000. Estimated retail value is the amount for which the genuine trademarked items would sell.

Agents with the NC Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force discovered knock-offs including counterfeit UGG boots, North Face jackets and Louis Vuitton handbags. Task force agents from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the Dunn Police Department assisted in these enforcement actions, along with private investigators representing brand holders. The investigations are continuing.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall urges Christmas shoppers to be wary of fakes.

“I know everyone wants to find a bargain, but when you buy counterfeits not only are you getting poor quality products, you could also be endangering your health,” she said. “We’ve seen counterfeit designer perfume and cologne with hazardous chemicals, as well as electrical products that could present a deadly fire hazard in your house. The trade in counterfeits also harms legitimate manufacturers and merchants and helps fund organized crime.”

Marshall created the N.C. Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force in 2004. Over the past 15 years, the Task Force has taken more than $150 million in counterfeits off the streets. In September of this year, Marshall of Lillington was awarded the 2019 Brand Protection Hero Award from the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection at Michigan State University.

The North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State has the statutory duty to enforce laws that protect the holders of state and federally registered trademarks.


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