Moossa Lari (pictured), who heads a business in Los Angeles’ jewelry district, has been charged with a felony trademark violation for allegedly running a “major” distributor of counterfeit jewelry, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
The LAPD release said that after investigators made several undercover buys and conducted surveillance at the business, they determined it was a nationwide distributor of counterfeit jewelry.
On Nov. 7, the LAPD served two search warrants on the business. It allegedly found more than $15 million in counterfeit jewelry, including copies of pieces from Hermès, Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Michael Kors, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., YSL, Dior, Calvin Klein, Guess, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Bulgari.
The counterfeit jewelry seized was tested at the scene and did not meet United States safety standards, the LAPD said. The United States standard of acceptable lead and cadmium is 90 parts per million (PPM). The counterfeit jewelry seized during the investigation tested as high as 200,000 PPM.
Investigators also recovered $58,000 in cash, the statement said.
In May, the state of California fined five jewelry businesses for allegedly selling jewelry that contained excessive levels of lead and cadmium.
Lari could not be reached for comment at press time. According to a local news channel, he posted bond and was due in back court on Dec. 4.
The LAPD asks anyone with information to contact commercial crimes detectives at 213-486-6940. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.
The investigation was conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department’s commercial crimes division, intellectual property crimes unit, in collaboration with the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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