Psst: That Gucci Bag You Bought By the Huntington Beach Pier Is Probably Not the Real Deal
Sorry label lovers, if you've been buying your Gucci and Louis Vuitton accessories out of kiosks by the Huntington Beach Pier, or in some other random Orange County spots, you may have been duped by phony goods. And those phony goods--and their sellers--have just been busted in something the feds called "Operation Fashion Faux Pas."
Handbag seized in 'Operation Fashion Faux Pas' (Photo courtesy ICE)
Indeed, it is a huge no-no to sport a fake Chanel bag or shades (at least if you're trying to pass it off as the real thing). It's also illegal to sell them, which is where special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) came in.This week they "executed state search warrants this week against five local vendors and seized more than $200,000 worth of goods, capping a six month crackdown" in the OC, explains ICE.
For this round of "Operation Fashion Faux Pas" busts, ICE cracked down on Tustin hair salon, a Garden Grove shoe store and several retail kiosks near the Huntington Beach pier. They also showed up at the private residences of named sellers.
Goods seized included "purses, jewelry, sunglasses, cosmetics and perfume, bear the counterfeit trademarks of more than two dozen well-known brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Rolex, Hermes and Chanel."
The moral of the story, savvy shoppers, is that while buying knockoffs might save you some bucks, the feds want you to remember that crime never pays.