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$90M in Counterfeit Jewelry Seized by US Customs

‘Seizures, like these, will ensure inferior, often dangerous goods do not fall into the hands of everyday Americans,’ said the port director.




$90M in Counterfeit Jewelry Seized by US Customs
Louisville CBP officers at the Express Consignment Operations (ECO) hub in Louisville have seized multiple shipments of counterfeit jewelry that would retail for $90 million.

LOUISVILLE, KY – Since the middle of July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Louisville have seized counterfeit bracelets and other jewelry worth over $90 million if the goods were genuine.

From July 17 to 31, CBP officers at the Express Consignment Operations hub seized three large shipments of counterfeit bracelets totaling more than $42 million. This seizure led to the arrest of a pastor in North Carolina who was discovered with a cache of more than 3,200 fake Cartier bracelets. On Aug. 2, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall announced that church pastor JianGang “Frank” Lan was charged with felony criminal use of a counterfeit trademark and is being held under $25,000 bond in the Orange County Jail.

The next large seizure took place from Sept. 9 to 17, when CBP officers seized five shipments that contained counterfeit jewelry, which would be worth more than $48 million if genuine.

“When purchasing items from a vendor over the internet, if it seems like too good of a deal it is,” said Thomas Mahn Jr., Louisville port director. “A Cartier bracelet listed online for $25 is definitely not authentic.”

Consumers should be aware that counterfeit products are often manufactured in unregulated facilities and with substandard materials.

“Seizures, like these, will ensure inferior, often dangerous goods do not fall into the hands of everyday Americans,” Mahn said. “Counterfeit jewelry is often forged with lead and other hazardous materials unbeknownst to the buyer. These seizures protect the rights of the intellectual property rights holder, health and safety of Americans, and the reputation of online marketplaces involved in these transactions.”


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When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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