Long Island woman arrested with more than $40 million in fake designer clothes

By greatbritton

Police, prosecutors and U.S. postal inspectors came together to shut down an alleged counterfeit trademark operation based in a Long Island boutique. According to CBS News, police said thousands of bogus designer goods were being sold out in the open and shipped around the country. Linny’s Boutique, in Plainview, New York allegedly passed counterfeit designer logos onto clothing and accessories.

“The store contained thousands of synthetic, heat sealed counterfeit Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Dior and labels purchased from China,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.

Police allege during their 18 month investigation they found, 22 heat pressing machines and labels of sought-after, pricey designers, which, if authentic, would sell for more than $40 million.

“They would take a hat, a $3 hat, a fifty cent item on the side here, they would heat seal it onto the hat, and sell the hat for $300,” Ryder said. “Simple $10 sweatshirt, you put the Chanel brand on it.”

Officials claim unsuspecting consumers were scammed. The 31-year-old owner, Lindsay Castelli, was charged with trademark counterfeiting.

“This was a sophisticated operation,” Nassau County DA Anne Donnelly said. “A storefront that you could have walked by hundreds of times and not realized what was in it was thousands and thousands of dollars of counterfeit goods.”

The shop has been closed until further notice, according to its social media. Castelli is scheduled in court on Nov. 2.

Some customers say they know when it’s too good to be true, it’s probably fake.

“I think if you’re shopping here in that kind of store you expect you’re not buying a full real Gucci bag,” one woman said.

Officials claim the public not to perpetuate the problem, and say counterfeiting is not a harmless crime.

“They work hard to build a brand, and what’s going on here is people are stealing that brand and then are deceiving the public,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service said Linny’s and Christian Salvator NY were shipping nationwide.

Donnelly has a message to counterfeiters.

“We will arrest you and seize your merchandise. It’s not worth it,” she said. A trademark counterfeiting conviction is punishable by one and third to three years.

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