Knockoff Dealer Busted, DA Says

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Truckloads of knockoff high-end and everyday items are no longer available on the streets.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced the apprehension of an alleged operator of a $16 million smuggling and counterfeiting business.

Hynes says buyers should beware that when you purchase a knockoff from an illegal vendor — there's no telling what you've got.

HYNES: Batteries made in unregulated factories may contain dangerous levels of mercury. Painted items may have high levels of lead. So samples of all these have now been tested.

REPORTER: The suspect, Jianfeng Guo, pleaded not guilty to charges of trademark counterfeiting. Bail was set at $500,000. His girlfriend was also charged.

Hynes says the 29-year-old Guo ran the business out of a Queens warehouse. Three floors and a basement were filled with counterfeit goods, including high-end clothing, batteries, soap, razors and toys.

Prosecutors say the knockoffs were manufactured in China and shipped by boat through the Panama Canal. The items were destined for sale throughout New York City.

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