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Authorities Seize $1 B in Counterfeit Goods—Largest Bust in US History

Federal authorities announced that recent raids on storage facilities in New York City uncovered a substantial amount of counterfeit handbags, shoes, and other luxury merchandise, potentially valued at over $1 billion if authentic.

According to officials, approximately 219,000 items were seized from Manhattan storage locations in enforcement actions conducted by US Homeland Security investigators and city police. Two individuals were charged with trafficking counterfeit goods.

Photographs released by prosecutors showed shelves stacked with wallets and bags in one location and handbags hanging from hooks from floor to ceiling in another.

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US Attorney Damian Williams described the raids as “the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in US history.”

If convicted, the two men could potentially face up to ten years in prison, according to indictments alleging their involvement in distributing counterfeit goods since at least January.

Counterfeit luxury items have long been a fixture of New York City’s underground shopping scene, appealing to savvy consumers who seek nearly identical replicas of designer goods at significantly lower prices—sometimes hundreds or even thousands of dollars less.

Law enforcement agencies, often collaborating with luxury brand investigators, have intensified efforts to combat counterfeiting in recent decades. Their focus extends to retailers, importers, and distribution centers involved in the trade.

Federal authorities noted that the actual street value of the seized items from the raids is likely far less than $1 billion, based on the suggested retail prices of authentic versions of the seized counterfeit products.

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