uggs for women Millions in counterfeit items seized
Dolce and Gabbana, Coco Chanel, North Face, Michael Kors and Ugg were among the more than 25 national brands sold at Name Brand Closeouts at 1710 Flemingsburg Road in Morehead.
That was before the goods and labels were deemed to be counterfeit by private investigators that assisted the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department in a 10 month undercover investigation.
The merchandise was pulled off the shelves and confiscated as evidence Thursday morning. The incident is part of an ongoing investigation that could result in federal charges.
The store is owned and operated by Jamie and George Skaggs. The couple has not been charged yet but several indictments are anticipated in the case, including money laundering and wholesale buying and selling of counterfeit merchandise.
Sheriff’s investigators said Name Brand Closeouts was a retail operation but the Skaggs also sold wholesale at their auction business, Skaggs Wholesale and Auction, in Salt Lick. A search warrant has been issued and another level of the investigation will take place at that location.
“This is a hub operation. They are selling to locations all over Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee,” said Chief Deputy Joe Cline. “The private companies that worked with us are trained and hired by the brands to recognize counterfeit merchandise. Their work allowed us to immediately take the inventory into custody.”
Totals of merchandise value and money made in the sales of the counterfeit items has not been totaled but will be released once finalized.
“This is a multi million dollar operation and there was millions of dollars in merchandise that has now been pulled,” said Cline. “The value of the merchandise is what the actual brands would have been sold at in a retail store.”
Vaudra Ltd. and Advanced Investigation Services inspected and itemized the stores merchandise that was fake name brands.
Employees of those firms are assisting the sheriff’s department with the intensive investigation. The counterfeit inventory is being stored at an undisclosed location.
A representative of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security was also on scene to assist. Investigators said the feds are involved because of the potential of international smuggling.