During a six-day enforcement action leading up to the NBA All-Star Game, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents seized over 100,000 counterfeit items and tickets.
The seizures took place as a part of an effort to target those in the Chicago area committing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) theft, ICE reports. During the week of February 11 through 16, HSI, with help from local law enforcement partners, identified businesses and street vendors selling counterfeit goods including trademarked sports merchandise and counterfeit NBA All-Star Game tickets. Additionally, ICE revealed that HSI seized more than $800 million in counterfeit goods during the fiscal year 2019.
“HSI and its law enforcement partners are committed to keeping counterfeits from deceiving unsuspecting fans at major sporting events, such as the NBA All-Star Game,” James Gibbons, special agent in charge of HSI Chicago, said in a statement. “We appreciate this collaboration with the NBA to bring awareness to a crime that costs U.S. businesses billions of dollars each year and exploits consumers, who unknowingly spend their hard-earned money on second-rate memorabilia.”
ICE aren’t the only ones cracking down on fake merchandise; earlier this month, Live Nation announced that it would sue anyone who tries to sell fake merchandise at Post Malone shows. Court documents show that the entertainment giant is asking for restraining orders against any vendors attempting to sell counterfeit merchandise outside of the hip-hop star’s shows and is seeking both monetary compensation and to seize and destroy the knock-off items.
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