PASSAIC — Crews on Friday dismantled what authorities are calling a major counterfeit trademark operation, moving in cranes to remove heavy equipment used in the manufacture of phony clothing labels and fake embroidered icons.
New Jersey State Police investigators on Thursday seized more than $1 million worth of fake name-brand clothing in a large-scale raid, and arrested Wan C. Kim, 52, of Ridgefield on a counterfeit trademark charge, authorities said. Police suspect he ran assembly lines that affixed high-end name-brand logos, such as Ralph Lauren and Gucci, to generic or flawed shirts, jeans and jackets.
Kim had been under surveillance for months, police said. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
At the factory building at 245 Fourth St. on Friday, workers with Industrial Contracting and Rigging of Mahwah removed two Tajima embroidery machines valued at a total of $120,000. The machine pictured weighs about 7,000 pounds and is capable if stitching 20 shirts at a time, said state police Lt. Mike McDonnell.
Detectives said they seized more than 15,000 pieces of counterfeit trademark clothing valued at about $1.6 million, involving brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, North Face, Ed Hardy and the NBA. About 100,000 counterfeit trademark neck labels and price tags for trademark companies including Baby Phat, True Religion and Sean John also were confiscated.
“This counterfeit operation was not small by any means, it produced millions of dollars worth of clothing that made its way onto the black market in New Jersey costing legitimate companies millions of dollars in the process,” said Col. Rick Fuentes, state police superintendent.
Detectives with the state police cargo theft unit investigated, with assistance from New York City police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
— Staff report
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