INDIANAPOLIS— Buying and selling sports memorabilia is a very lucrative business. Whether you are just starting your collection or searching for that rare find, collectors and fans need to be aware that the market is inundated with fakes.
To stop criminals from cashing in, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers across the nation are seizing these fakes nightly. CBP officers at the Port of Indianapolis recently stopped three shipments that contained counterfeit NFL and NBA championship rings. If the items were genuine, the total Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for both shipments would have been worth over $803K.
Officers intercepted these three shipments recently that were all arriving from China and heading to various U.S. destinations. These shipments included: 285 counterfeit Los Angeles Lakers championship rings, 160 Kansas City Chiefs Superbowl rings, 154 Green Bay Packers Superbowl ring and 62 Miami Dolphins Superbowl rings. CBP officers inspected the packages to determine their admissibility.
“Part of CBP’s mission is to protect American consumers from purchasing these counterfeit products,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director Field Operations-Chicago. “This seizure illustrates our commitment to stopping counterfeit products from China and protecting our nation’s economy and consumers from those intent on defrauding businesses and consumers alike.”
In total 661 rings were seized and sent to an import specialist who deemed them counterfeit. At the beginning of May CBP officers in Indianapolis stopped 495 counterfeit championship rings.
“This just goes to show you how criminals are using e-Commerce to ship their items to unsuspecting consumers endangering their personal health and safety, as well as damaging our economy,” said Kerry Carter, Acting Port Director-Indianapolis. “I want to congratulate our officers for their outstanding job. CBP is the first line of defense and we will continue to protect the health and safety of consumers.”
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. 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 2020, CBP officers seized $3.6 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2020.
Read CBP’s Intellectual Property Seizure Report for Fiscal Year 2019 for more IPR stats and analysis. Fiscal Year 2019 is CBP’s most current completed IPR report.
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