Feds Bust $325 Million Counterfeit Accessories Rings

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Fake Nike sneakers confiscated as part of one of the largest counterfeiting rings. (photo: U.S. Dept. of Justice)

Newark, NJ—Federal officials in New Jersey reported today they arrested 29 people in connection with a $325 million counterfeit goods ring—including handbags and footwear—one of the largest smuggling operations ever charged.

According to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said the arrests were made in New Jersey, New York, Texas and the Philippines.

The ring attempted to smuggle counterfeit goods from China through Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for sale to wholesale and retail outlets.

“It’s huge,” Fishman told reporters. “It’s one of the largest counterfeit goods cases ever—maybe the largest ever investigated in this district and…one of the largest ever prosecuted in the country.”

In addition to trafficking in counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Coach, Gucci, Timberland, UGG brand, Nike and other footwear, handbags and other items, authorities said two overlapping criminal enterprises also trafficked in counterfeit cigarettes and crystal meth.

The investigation continues.