Police: $1M in knockoff goods seized in Wantagh
Police say they seized more than $1 million worth of knockoff handbags, clothes, jewelry and other items from a store in Wantagh.
Investigators raided the store, Lavish Creations, on Thanksgiving. Police say the counterfeit goods were labeled as products by top luxury designers including Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Burberry and Rolex.
According to the Nassau County DA's Office, 39-year-old Paula Ligotta, of Levittown, was the alleged mastermind of the lucrative business. Prosecutors say she had counterfeit items shipped from China and Hong Kong to her home, and then sent them to the store to be sold.
Police arrested Ligotta and two others, Paulo and Kristy Barbosa, of New Jersey. Police say the three also sold the knockoff items online, and were in business for about two years.
Investigators say that Lavish Creations' customers had to have known they were buying knockoffs. The Wantagh Avenue store was open much later than normal business hours, and its prices were too good to be true. A Louis Vuitton bag that normally sells for about $1,000 was sold instead for $250 to $300.
The suspects are facing charges of second-degree counterfeiting. If convicted, each faces one to three years behind bars.
The DA's office says the charges could be upgraded.