Authorities seized more than $2 million worth of counterfeit goods in Queens bearing logos of such designers as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, The North Face and Versace.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said seven borough residents were charged in connection with the investigation that enabled authorities to confiscate some 13,000 fake items, ranging from belts and handbags to watches, boots and scarves.
“Trademark counterfeiting is not a victimless crime,” Brown said. “Small counterfeit operations like this one discovered as a result of this investigation fuel an underground economy.”
Dubbed “Operation Treasure Hunt,” the probe began last summer and it was led by the NYPD, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and Brown’s office.
According to five criminal complaints filed by the DA, the knockoffs were seized from storage facilities located in Jamaica and College Point.
“They are cash businesses that pay no taxes, damage the reputations of reputable brand owners and lower consumer confidence in the name brands by foisting inferior products into the marketplace,” Brown said.
During the operation, police arrested Naqing Zhang, 31 and his wife, Wei Wei Dong, 32, of Whitestone; Chin Chu, 43, and his wife Jian Xia, 38, of Flushing; Sai Chen, 39, of Flushing; Wei Liao, 41, of Jamaica; and Pizhong Zhou, 22, of Douglaston.
The defendants face up to four years in prison if convicted of trademark counterfeiting charges. They were released on their own recognize.