Local/State

Fake designer items seized in Center City raid

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Authorities seized thousands of dollars worth of fake designer items during a raid in Center City on Thursday morning.

Jian Feng Huang, 46, a Chinese national and owner of Chestnut Handbags and Gift Shop at 11th and Chestnut, was arrested.

He faces charges including trademark counterfeiting, theft by deception, deceptive business practices and forgery.

The items seized include handbags, wallets and scarves.

"All well known names, Gucci, Chanel, Tory Burch," said Sgt. Joe Cella of the Philadelphia Police. "All the top names."

When customers like Nekia Robinson showed up and found out what happened, they were shocked and angry.

"I got handbags from him, wallets, scarves," said Robinson. "We're thinking we're buying something real and we're not. I don't think that's fair to the customer at all."

"People don't necessarily believe - as we may suspect, cynically enough - that they are purchasing a counterfeit article. Many times they may just think they're just purchasing an old article, and old design that can't sell."

Another customer, who only identified herself as Nicole from South Philadelphia, said she had long been suspicious of what was going on.

"They got Coach bags that are $300, they've got them for $50 or $60. You know something's not right," she said.

Police say some of the articles in the store were the real deal, but the majority of it was fake.

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philadelphia, center city, fraud, local/state
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