Counterfeit jewelry worth over $4.41 million seized in Louisville

Louisville Customs & Border Control officers seized 2,400 pieces of fake jewelry shipped from Hong Kong, attempting importation into the United States.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Three shipments of jewelry with counterfeit designer trademarks worth millions of dollars were seized by Louisville officers within 24 hours.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville seized three shipments containing 2,400 pieces of counterfeit jewelry, shipped from Hong Kong, attempting importation into the United States.

On April 3, two of the shipments were heading to the same private residence in Jeffersonville, Indiana, but with different recipient names.

One shipment contained 400 bracelets bearing suspected Van Cleef and Arpels trademarks, while the second shipment contained 993 jewelry sets bearing suspected Van Cleef and Arpels trademarks.

Officers submitted documentation and photographs to CBP’s trade experts at the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence and Expertise (CEE), who determined that the merchandise was not authentic.

Had the items been genuine, the total Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) would have been $3.7 million.

The next day, CBP officers held another parcel for inspection. This shipment, also from Hong Kong, was heading to a residence in Cleveland, Ohio.

Officers found 1,367 counterfeit pendants that bore recorded trademarks:

  • 537 bearings suspect Chanel marks
  • 155 bearings suspect Dior marks
  • 155 bearings suspect Louis Vuitton marks
  • 245 bearings suspect Gucci marks
  • 75 bearings suspect Fendi marks
  • 60 bearing suspect Yves Saint Laurent marks
  • 40 bearing suspect Tiffany & Company marks
  • 66 bearings suspect Versace marks
  • 20 bearings suspect Givenchy marks
  • 10 bearings suspect MCM marks
  • 20 bearings suspect Dolce & Gabbana marks
  • 10 bearing suspect MLB Yankees marks
  • 10 bearing suspect MLB Dodgers marks

Once again, officers submitted documentation and photographs to CBP’s trade experts at the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising CEE who determined that the merchandise was not authentic.

The total MSRP for this shipment would have been $710, 295, had these items been real.

These shipments were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and an ongoing investigation.

Intellectual property is an important component of the US economy, and Louisville Port Director Thomas Mahn emphasized the critical role CBP plays in protecting the economy and consumers.

“No one buys a luxury brand piece of jewelry expecting it to fail or fall apart,” Mahn said. “As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise.”

Commonly, these goods are sold in underground outlets and on third party e-commerce websites.

Online listings will often use images of the genuine product designer, defrauding purchasers who are expecting to receive the real thing.

Every year, CBP seizes millions of counterfeit goods from countries around the world as part of its mission to protect US businesses and consumers.

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