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The Big Sweep: Anti-Piracy Task Force Gets Fakes Off Streets

Are these real or fakes? (Photo by Andres Rueda via Flickr)
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City Controller Wendy Greuel is working hard to stamp out counterfeiters, whose fake DVDs, CDs, and clothes glut the streets of Los Angeles and represent theft from hardworking Angelenos, explains a press release issued by her office regarding "Operation Chimney Sweep," the crack down by the Los Angeles Anti-Piracy Task Force hailed as "the largest raid on counterfeit goods in Los Angeles history."

This holiday season officers and investigators from private industries have been running raids all over the city, and arresting perpetrators selling pirated movies, music, and apparel. $4.06 million worth of counterfeit goods were seized, and 10 arrests were made as part of the "Sweep."

Reps from the movie and music biz have lauded the Task Force for helping get the fakers off the streets, since piracy is one of the scourges of their industries. Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich also adds that counterfeiting could be the proverbial gateway drug of crime for many who sell the phony merchandise: "Few realize that the money a consumer pays for a counterfeit product may very well be financing even more serious criminal activities- like gang crime," he remarked.

For those seeking to nab a low-budget set of DVDs from the dude on the street corner, Greuel warns you're going to have to think again: "This should serve as a wake up call, not only to the criminals that produce and sell these illegal goods, but to all of the holiday shoppers out there. Piracy is serious business, but we are determined to sweep it out of Los Angeles."