Authorities bust Shreveport shops selling 'knock-offs'

Monday, May 2, 2011 - 7:00am

Investigators netted more than $1 million of knock-off merchandise across Shreveport over the last week.

Eight Shreveport shops selling what customers thought were legitimate Nike, NFL and Louis Vuitton products were busted for the counterfeit merchandise.  "They're selling things that are not licensed, therefore the sale is not taxed.  The money is not tracked," said Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator.

The largest haul came from Scotty's Do-It-All Hobby Shop on Jewella Avenue where detectives uncovered more than 66,000 counterfeit CD's and 19,000 DVD's.  Detective Bobby Herring told us that is the largest find that representatives of motion pictures and music have seen in the past five years in Shreveport.

Acting on tips, the Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force visited thirteen businesses resulting in two arrests at one of the shops.  Other businesses were issued cease-and-desist orders from the merchandise companies telling them to stop selling these products.

All these items will be destroyed, but where the money goes from items already sold is a big concern.  Sheriff Prator said, in past incidents, the money from counterfeit item sales is laundered and can be sent to terrorist organizations.  This investigation has not yet led do that result.

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