LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said Tuesday that his office has secured a permanent injunction barring six alleged sellers of counterfeit clothes from being in the Fashion District for the next 10 years.
The six people allegedly sold counterfeit items purporting to be Burberry, Chanel, Fendi, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. The City Attorney’s Office alleges that some of them are members of or affiliated with the “Malditos” and “Hope Street” gangs.
“Selling knock-offs is a source of income for some criminal gangs, who can use that money to fund other illicit activities. Moreover, fakes often are made by victims of labor trafficking,” Feuer said.
“It’s vital to continue to disrupt gang-involved counterfeit rings in L.A. And I want to reiterate the risks of purchasing counterfeit goods, whether on the street or through social media channels like Instagram, YouTube and Offer Up. You never know the quality or safety of the products, from whom you are buying or what they will do with the proceeds,” he added.
The complaint’s defendants allegedly used two-way radios to warn of incoming police while selling counterfeit goods in the Fashion District, including in Santee Alley, as well as from storefronts, sidewalk stands, stairwells and parking lots.
According to the complaint, the group has sold at least 1,439 counterfeit items, which the court believes to be an undercount. The City Attorney’s Office said some of the defendants have been involved repeatedly in the sale of counterfeit products, including one since 2006.
The office also said that some of the defendants have criminal records that include domestic battery, resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery.
The injunction prohibits the defendants from being in the Fashion District without prior written permission from the court. They are allowed to pass through in a vehicle but cannot stop except to obey traffic laws, and they are not allowed to exit the vehicle.
Along with not being allowed to enter the Fashion District for a decade, the permanent injunction prohibits the defendants from:
— knowingly being present from places where counterfeit goods are sold, stored, manufactured or transported;
— accepting employment for or operating, directly or indirectly, any business in California, unless approved by the Supervising Assistant City Attorney, that is related to the manufacture, sale, storage, possession or transportation of items that are commonly counterfeited, including handbags, clothing or related merchandise, CDs, detergents, DVDs, sunglasses, movies, music, electronics, jewelry, pharmaceuticals or computer software; and
— engaging in internet sales or advertising for the products listed above or any commonly counterfeited goods.
The defendants must also pay $3.6 million in civil penalties, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
Contact information for the defendants, who the City Attorney’s Office said are all currently unrepresented by counsel, could not immediately be found.