Monday, January 15, 2007

Counterfeit is Never in Style

From my weekly (AM) radio segment titled "Legal Minute".

For those of us planning to enjoy off-season travel in Europe this year, we may be looking forward to finding some great bargains on designer items. However, we cannot give into temptation when street vendors in Europe or the US entice us with fake Fendi, Gucci or Louis Vuitton. This doesn’t only apply to ladies; men also fall prey to great looking knock-off designer luggage, wallets and briefcases. Buying fakes is criminal and the profits are often used by criminals to fund illegal activity such as drug smuggling and terrorism. Most of Europe and the US are cracking down hard on counterfeiters and tourists who buy their goods. In the US buying counterfeit goods is criminally and civilly punishable under Federal law with fines and prison time. In Europe, Italy and France gave new meaning to fashion police by increasing penalties for counterfeiting in 2005. Any person caught in these countries buying or wearing fake designer goods will be penalized anywhere from 10,000 to 300,000 Euros. Remember, counterfeit is never in style.