No More Fake Louis! The City Shutters 32 Canal Street Counterfeiters

Bloomberg's got some brand-new bags! Photo: Newscom


Say good-bye to fake Prada bags: Yesterday the city shuttered 32 vendors of counterfeit goods on Canal, Walker, Center, and Baxter streets, dubbed the "counterfeit triangle" by Mayor Bloomberg and the gazillion tourists looking for cheap holiday gifts. The city set up a sting shopping operation and sent undercover cops on more than 40 shopping trips to the area, where they bought things like Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses for $9, a Prada handbag for $40, and a Rolex for $80.

Though the police seized $1 million in goods from the 32 shops yesterday, $25 million worth of counterfeit goods were seized in 2007, three times as much as the previous year. Bloomberg said the counterfeit goods cheat the city out of $1 billion in sales tax a year and called it "organized crime."

So who's in trouble for all of this? A property owner, Vincent Terranova, who was already sued in 2006 by companies like Burberry and Marc Jacobs for leasing his space to illegal activities. No criminal charges have been made, but Terranova is going to have to pay considerable fines: He owes $1,000 for every day following the first notice of illegal activity, which was given in early January. That's, what, something like $50,000? He could have bought so many real Prada bags with all that money. What a waste.

City Agents Shut Down 32 Vendors of Fake Items [NYT]