North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall issued an alert to consumers Friday after Mooresville police stopped a car recently and found a quarter-million dollars worth of fake brand-name goods inside.
The cache included counterfeit designer watches, sunglasses, clothes, shoes, backpacks, handbags and other merchandise, according to a news release from the Secretary of State Office.
The knock-offs had well-known brand names affixed to them, including Gucci, Patek Philippe, Hublot, Audemars, Cartier, Dior, Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Nike, Fendi, Amiri and Louis Vuitton, according to the release.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Amory Smith of Greensboro on felony counts of possession with the intent to sell counterfeit goods.
Police stopped the car early on July 24 and called in the N.C. Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force to help with the investigation.
Investigators estimated the retail value of the goods at $360,400. That is the dollar amount the real trademarked items would sell for.
Marshall said buying such fake goods hurts legitimate merchants and the local economy.
"I know everyone wants to find a bargain," Marshall said in the release. "But when you buy counterfeits, you are not only getting poor quality products, you may be funding other things like organized crime."
Buying bogus goods hurts local communities that rely on sales tax to pay for libraries, roads, police and fire services, she said.
Anyone who sees suspected counterfeit products being sold should email Marshall's office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you see such items for sale online, take a screen shot and include the link in your email.