Accused bogus handbag sellers want their money back

I'm just glad that they're cracking down in my city but the nerve of these people to try to get their money back!



http://www.seattlepi.com/local/409497_bags23.html?source=rss

Accused bogus handbag sellers want their money back

By LEVI PULKKINEN
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
Sorry to break this to you.
You know that Coach bag you bought from that guy for $50?
It's fake.
Ditto the Dolce & Gabbana one you bought from the guy with the folding table in the parking lot for $40.
And the $10 Versace sunglasses. And the homemade CDs.
Sorry.
The search warrants Seattle police served on 10 homes and businesses, those were real. As was the $242,000 seized from seven suspected dealers of counterfeit goods.
Now, about 17 months after Seattle police and federal agents raided the homes and seized the goods, several of the men targeted in the sting but still uncharged are fighting to get their money back.
In filings to the U.S. District Court at Seattle, law enforcement agents involved in the effort described the weeks-long investigation that led to the searches in April and May 2008.
According to Cohen's statements and search warrant requests, Seattle police initiated the investigation the year before aimed at several South Seattle businesses thought to be dealing in counterfeit brand-name merchandise. Detective and private investigators hired by the copyright holders made numerous undercover purchases of counterfeit goods, according to the filings.
During several searches in a two-week period, Seattle police seized 7,873 allegedly counterfeit items, a Seattle detective on the case said in court documents.
Describing an undercover operation at a store owned by a man who later saw $180,000 seized, the detective said investigators found that most of the bags for sale there did not have tags sewn on. But, he alleged in court documents, the proprietor offered to add the tags when undercover officers moved to make a purchase.
"(An undercover officer) asked the worker if the handbag on the wall was a 'Kate Spade,'" the detective said in court documents. "The worker stated that the handbag was in fact a 'Kate Spade' and that he could sell it to her. However, he needed to sew on a 'Kate Spade' logo for her."
Another officer allegedly purchased a two pairs of counterfeit Nike "Air Jordan" sneakers at the Fourth Avenue store.
Investigators went on to say that six men arrested in the effort admitted to the thefts. But, more than a year later, no charges have been filed.
One of the men, who is not being identified because he has not been charged with a crime, has now filed suit in King County Superior Court requesting that the government return $50,000 seized from his bank account.
Contacted for comment, the man's attorney, Kirk Davis, said the funds serve no evidentiary purpose as they are little more than numbers on his account balance. Davis said his client hopes to have the money returned as he is expected to be deported to Senegal in September and would otherwise be penniless.
Davis filed suit against the Seattle Police Department earlier this month, as negotiations with the city have stalled.
"He's looking to get his money back so he'll have something to live on when he goes back to Senegal," Davis said. "I've been trying to negotiate with the attorneys from the city, and I don't have any particular argument with what they've been doing. We've just been frustrated that the negotiations haven't gone anywhere."
Attempts to reach a Seattle police representative willing to comment on the case Friday were unsuccessful.
In federal court, two other arrestees have already seen about $30,000 forfeited to the government following a court order. Another arrestee, who saw $180,000 of his funds seized, saw $120,000 returned to him in June as part of an agreed settlement.
The remainder of the cases remain unresolved. A bench trial had been scheduled for Nov. 17, though that action has since been delayed.
 

crazyboutcoach

Iced Lemonade
O.G.
Jul 5, 2009
1,136
21
A town I call home, TX
I'm so glad to see that they are cracking down on counterfeit goods here in the U.S. The people who buy fakes are not to blame. They just want to be in style, "keep up with the Jonses", keep up with appearances, try a high-end designer look without committing to the price ect. The ones who sell the fakes are often bad guys. They sell to fund crime/drug rings, money laundering, racketeering or even fund terroroism! They often lie to & scam people who think they are getting a good deal on a real. They hurt jobs & legit businesses. I read on Harper's Baazar Fakes Are Never in Fashion site that $750,000 U.S. jobs are lost due to this black market. Some fake dealers may not sell to scam people & tell people that what they sell are fakes & sell them as a means of extra income or what have you but these guys don't realize the effects the black market has on our economy ect. The black market in general should be cracked down upon. I would personally never buy or sell a fake. Their are designers who are original, stylish & cater to all price points.
 
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