Industry / Legal

Florida Jeweler Arrested for Allegedly Selling Counterfeits


Oleana Austin, 51, owner of two Blesk Jewelry stores in Palm Beach, Fla., has been arrested and charged with one count of selling counterfeit goods, according to the Palm Beach Police Department.

On Instagram, the department said it had raided the Blesk stores and found about 800 counterfeit items with a retail value of almost $2 million.

The seized items include copycat “Pucci, Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany, Rolex, Versace, and Bottega Veneta merchandise that are of a quality that a regular person would believe they were the genuine item,” according to a probable cause arrest warrant supplied to JCK.

According to an affidavit supporting the warrant, when an undercover officer visited Blesk and inquired about a dress with “a white tag inside with black lettering that read Pucci,” she was told it was a “real” Pucci “on clearance.” The officer purchased the dress, which was later identified by the brand as counterfeit. She said in the affidavit that the store also carried earrings with Chanel’s distinctive design (back-to-back C’s), as well as a bracelet that aped Van Cleef’s signature four-clover shape.

“We have to go through the authentication process with all the brands to…more fully authenticate exactly the values on the counterfeit items,” Will Rothrock, captain of the Palm Beach Police Department, told local news station WFLX. “That might bring additional charges later.”

A Actions Investigations & Security was listed as the victim in the affidavit, which identified that entity as the brand representative for Pucci and the other brands in question. The affidavit said the investigation was sparked by a complaint from the FBI.

Following her arrest, Austin was released on a $50,000 surety bond, according to the Palm Beach Daily News, which reported that one of the stores had a “closed” sign in the window last week.

JCK was unable to reach Austin or her attorney prior to publication. An email to the store came back undelivered.

Top: Some of the merchandise found at Blesk Jewelry (photo courtesy of the Palm Beach Police Department)

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By: Rob Bates

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