Federal prosectors in New York have charged five people in connection with a Nike Air Jordan counterfeiting scheme that reports are saying cost Nike at least $73 million. Prosecutors say the smugglers imported over 300,000 fake Air Jordans from China before selling them across the United States.
The sneakers were smuggled into New York and New Jersey, labelled as generic shoes, where counterfeit Nike trademarked logos were attached to the kicks before they were shipped across the country.
NBC New York reports that more than 42 containers carrying counterfeit sneakers were brought through Port Newark between January 2016 and July 2018.
Homeland Security Investigations officials said that many of the Nike knock-offs were made to look like real Air Jordans that retail for around $190 per pair. In total, federal prosecutors are alleging that the counterfeiting scheme cost Nike at least $73 million in lost revenue.
Fake Air Jordan VII’s, Air Jordan XI’s, and Air Jordan XIII’s were among those seized by the authorities.
“The five defendants in this case allegedly counterfeited over $70 million in fake Nike shoes and sold them to buyers on the U.S. market," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. "I commend our law enforcement partners for helping to bring today's charges, which send a clear message to would-be counterfeiters: 'Just don't do it.’”
For more on this developing story, head to NBC New York here.
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