$8.7M in fake jewelry seized by Cincinnati, Indianapolis customs agents

CINCINNATI — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati and Indianapolis netted four large shipments of counterfeit jewelry over the course of two weeks that, if authentic, would have been worth an estimated $8.7 million.

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According to a news release, the first seizure occurred Dec. 24, 2021, when CBP officers in Cincinnati intercepted a shipment containing more than 13,000 pieces of fake jewelry bearing the protected trademarks of Bvlgari, Cartier, Coach, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Rolex, Tiffany, Tori Burch and Versace. Had the items, which originated in China, been genuine, the CBP’s trade experts estimated their value at more than $3.7 million.

Eleven days later, Indianapolis CBP officers seized 1,272 pieces of counterfeit jewelry, valued at a little more than $2 million and bearing the protected trademarks from multiple high-end brands. The shipments would have been worth nearly $2 million and nearly $900,000, respectively, had they been genuine, the agency stated.

According to CBP officials, the packages were en route to several private residences in Laredo, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; and White Plains, New York.

“This is just another example of the work our officers do to protect consumers and the U.S. economy,” LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, director of field operations for the CBP’s Chicago division, said in a prepared statement.

“As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third-party vendors, our officers are at the front line to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise,” Sutton-Burke added.