Counterfeit Purses Confiscated From Business in West Richland
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - Fake purses have caused a concern for the West Richland Police Department after knock off pocketbooks with labels like Coach, Prada and Kate Spade were confiscated from a store in West Richland.
Many of the legit companies operate out of New York City and police say they are trying to crack down on the number of counterfeit bags being made and distributed across the country.
There are stores throughout the Tri-Cities area that are selling these knock offs for a fraction of what the real bags actually cost. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has been notified and an investigation is underway.
Police say it is illegal to use the exact label of a name brand and can sometimes deceive the customer.
West Richland Police Detective Theresa Morrell said the store owners probably will not face charges because they did not realize that they were involved in the illegal activity but the bags will be destroyed.
Morrell said, "Obviously we're not going after everyone that owns a knock off. The problem is when people start distributing these products after they know or realize they are counterfeit, that's when you start running into federal offenses."
The Department of Justice reports that the counterfeit industry plays a huge role in our economy and that big companies like Chanel, Prada and Coach say they are losing millions and millions of dollars every year.