Long Island News
Food pantry operator arrested for selling counterfeit goods
PORT JEFFERSON (WABC) -- A small food pantry is padlocked shut and a sign says it is closed after the director here was arrested and charged with selling counterfeit merchandise.
Prosecutors showed off the goods, which included all sorts of silver - jewelry, bracelets, necklaces - and all appearing to bear that famous Tiffany label, but Suffolk County investigators claim the stuff was bought online from China.
"Everything you see before you is fake. 100-percent fake," Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Mary Ann Bell, 69, is accused of selling the jewelry, described in literature as "trendy affordable silver" to benefit the Greater Port Jefferson Food Pantry.
Bell, investigators say, is the director of the pantry.
The alleged fraud, which investigator believe netted Bell 150-thousand dollars a year, occurred over the past three years.
They also claim Bell would tell customers that they were factory seconds, but the alleged scheme unraveled when customers complained about the jewelry.
When the products were returned to Tiffany's, its own investigators realized they were not the high quality products sold by the famed company.
Investigators say they seized counterfeit items at bell's home in Stony Brook. They add that none of the money benefited the food pantry.
Get Eyewitness News Delivered
long island, suffolk county, port jefferson, crime, counterfeit, theft, long island news, tim fleischer
- Third grader killed in accident, truck driver charged
- AccuWeather: Warmer stretch arrives
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- iWitness Photos and Videos
- Car dealer charged after selling Sandy-damaged vehicles
- NJ Transit train disabled inside Hudson River tunnel
- Surveillance released in shooting of 9-year-old boy
- Man stabbed on 2 train in Bronx
- Prosecutors likely to reduce charges in SUV assault
- Video: Two US astronauts set to spacewalk to fix ISS
- GWB repair work this weekend
- Father in Army reunites with son in kindergarten class
- Photos: Deadly fire in the Bronx
- Target data breach: 7 Things to know
Eyewitness News Links
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos