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FIVE CHARGED FOR DEALING IN COUNTERFEIT GOODS

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010— Five vendors at a Chicago mall have been arrested for selling apparel bearing counterfeit logos, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Tuesday.

The investigation into vendors at the MP Mall, located on the 3900 block of West Madison in Chicago, began in July, based on information developed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Over the course of four months, undercover officers with the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Special Operations Unit purchased merchandise bearing counterfeit logos from high profile brands.

After making repeated buys from various vendors at the mall, on the afternoon of October 27th, officers from the Cook County Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit, along with ICE agents, executed search warrants at nine different booths.

In total, more than 1100 items were seized, with counterfeit logos from Major League Baseball, Nike, Ed Hardy, Louis Vuitton, True Religion, and Polo Ralph Lauren.  The following five individual vendors were charged collectively with 15 counts of possession of counterfeit trademarks:

Terrance GrayChong S. LimAmadou DiopKadiatou D. DialloSung H. Kang

Terrance Gray, 48, of the 0 – 100 block of North Mason, Chicago – 2 counts
Chong S. Lim, 49, of the 900 block of Mayfair Court, Elk Grove Village – 3 counts
Amadou Diop, 29, of the 1500 block of Algonquin Rd., Algonquin – 3 counts
Kadiatou D. Diallo, 30, of the 1700 block of North Spaulding, Chicago – 5 counts
Sung H. Kang, 25, of the 9400 block of North Merill, Morton Grove – 2 counts

At one booth, investigators found approximately 61 handbags and apparel items bearing fake trademark logos of Ed Hardy, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Major League Baseball.  At another booth detectives seized 620 Major League Baseball hats and 39 pairs of Nike shoes.

The counterfeit MLB logo hats were one of the fastest selling retail items.  Many of the vendors purchased these hats for $3.50 from a wholesaler, then sold them for double the price – $7.00.  However, the true retail sales value of an MLB hat can range from approximately $20.00 to $40.00. 

The next court date for all five defendants is December 2nd at Harrison and Kedzie.

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