LOUISVILLE, Ky— With one league in full swing, another gearing up for their draft and the other league locked out, criminals are still trying to siphon money from enthusiast’s pockets. CBP officers in Louisville recently seized 230 counterfeit Super Bowl, World Series, and NBA championship rings that may have ended up online for much more than what they are worth.
CBP officers at the Express Consignment Operations hub in Louisville detained a shipment arriving from a company in China on March 3. Officers inspected the package to determine the admissibility of the merchandise and found various rings bearing the names and logos of professional sports teams. An Import Specialist deemed the rings were in violation of Intellectual and Property Rights and trademark issues in addition to lack of proper licenses to import such goods into the country. If the items were genuine, the total Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for this shipment would have been worth $345,000. The shipment was destined for a residence in Wesley Chapel, Florida.
“Counterfeit jewelry continues to flood e-commerce market and these rings were focused on a select group of sports collectors and their fans,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago. “Our officers are well-trained to find counterfeit merchandise like these in support of CBP’s mission of protecting the American public and the American economy.”
The shipment of counterfeits included: 10 Milwaukee Bucks NBA championship rings, 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl rings, 80 Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rings and 110 Atlanta Braves World Series rings.
“This is just another example of the work our officers do to protect consumers and the U.S. economy,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third-party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise.”
The rapid growth of e-commerce enables consumers to search for and easily purchase millions of products through online vendors, but this easy access gives counterfeit and pirated goods more ways to enter the U.S. economy. U.S. consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20% of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide.
CBP encourages consumers to protect themselves and their families by always purchasing safe, authentic goods from reputable vendors. CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement program. Intellectual property rights (IPR) violations are associated with smuggling and other criminal activities, and often funds criminal enterprises. Additionally, importation of counterfeit merchandise can cause significant revenue loss, damage the U.S. economy, and threaten the health and safety of the American people.
On a typical day in 2021, CBP officers seized $9 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2021.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov