DOJ seizes record $1 billion counterfeit goods haul

The Department of Justice (DOJ) seized counterfeit goods worth about $1.03 billion and charged two people with trafficking in fake merchandise.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, along with the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations and the New York Police Department, announced the seizure Wednesday.

It involved “approximately 219,000 counterfeit bags, clothes, shoes, and other luxury products with a total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (‘MSRP’) of approximately $1.03 billion,” per a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Adama Sow, 38, and Abdulai Jalloh, 48, face charges of trafficking in counterfeit goods, according to the release. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Officials allege the men ran counterfeit goods trafficking operations on a wide scale from a storage facility in Manhattan from January to October, according to the release. Jalloh is alleged to have had another location at which he trafficked goods in Manhattan, officials said.

“As alleged, the defendants used a Manhattan storage facility as a distribution center for massive amounts of knock-off designer goods,” Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

“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,” Williams continued.

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