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Feds Seize $3M of Counterfeit Jewelry

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The items were labeled as Cartier and Tiffany.

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers in Philadelphia found counterfeit designer jewelry that, if authentic, would have a retail price of over $3 million.

CBP officers seized 23 pieces on March 20 and 64 pieces on April 3. Both shipments came from Hong Kong.

The parcels contained bracelets, earrings and rings bearing the names Cartier and Tiffany. Officers were suspicious because the packaging and contents were of poor quality, according to a press release from the agency.

“Our primary concerns in situations like these are consumer safety and trademark protection,” said Joseph Martella, CBP area port director for Philadelphia. “Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to identify and seize counterfeit and inferior merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers.”

This is Philadelphia CBP’s third significant counterfeit jewelry seizure this year. On Feb. 28, officers seized $233,000 in counterfeit designer brand watches from Hong Kong. And on March 6, they seized $1.4 million in counterfeit designer jewelry, also from Hong Kong.

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For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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