A Redwood woman was sentenced in Federal Court Friday to three years of probation and fined $15,000 for her conviction on charges of trafficking counterfeit goods. She also must serve 100 hours of community service.
Gaynor Heisler, 48, operated Trendys Discount Fashion Wear, a commercial store selling consumer goods in Evans Mills. On July 14, 2010, special agents from the Department of Homeland Security/ICE/Homeland Security Investigations seized counterfeit goods from the store purporting to be manufactured by Chanel, Coach, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and other copyrighted and/or trademarked manufacturers, according to a news release from the U.S. attorneys office.
Federal agents, assisted by members of the state police, seized 1,280 counterfeit items. All seized counterfeit goods were later forfeited by Ms. Heisler to the Department of Homeland Security.
Despite what some people think, the sale of product knockoffs is not a victimless crime, said Nick DiNicola, assistant special agent in charge of HSI Albany, in a news release. Retailers and vendors who deal in counterfeit goods are selling stolen property, and consumers who knowingly buy those products are essentially an accessory to the crime. Product counterfeiting undermines the U.S. economy, robs Americans of jobs, stifles American innovation and promotes other types of crime.