State and local law enforcement agents are cracking down on counterfeit goods in our area. The Secretary of State spoke on the subject today in Wilmington. Just a few months ago, New Hanover County deputies arrested a counterfeit group for selling fake goods at a Wilmington flea market. "They didn't have a business license, they weren't paying business taxes, this was cash profit for them. They weren't paying income taxes or sales taxes, so again that is going to affect the economy,” said Craig Bredenbeck of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s department. The people who make and sell these counterfeit products are known as pirates. The sale of counterfeit items is not a big problem in Wilmington, but it is a felony. The victims in this trade of counterfeit goods are the consumers, and the companies who make the original product. Lisa Rogan, trademark manager for Cushing and Co. said, "There are two types of consumers. There are the consumers who think they are getting a deal, and there is a consumer that knows he's getting a deal that is too good to be true." Some tell tale signs that a product is a fake are discrepancies on the bar codes, and labels. According to North Carolina law enforcement officers, the most sought after items are music CD's and movie DVD's, and after that anything Nike. Johnny Griffin, Director of the North Carolina Film Industry said, "Filming and selling illegal DVD's and illegal recording of our films in theatres and then selling those, is all illegal and it hurts the film industry, and the industry we are trying to recruit and bring into this state." While you might think you are simply getting a good deal, you are also contributing to a nationwide problem. "If you buy a fake Gucci, or Prada or Coach pocketbooks you are really supporting some really bad guys, in addition, stealing from the people that should be making these, and should be selling them,” said Elaine F. Marshall, NC Secretary of State. The Secretary of State also spent the day inducting new members from North Carolina law enforcement into the counterfeit crackdown task force, a group whose motto is "Fighting back against fakes”.
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