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ATC Seizes Counterfeit Goods in Multi-parish Operation

December 17, 2008

BATON ROUGE – Agents of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) seized tens of thousands of dollars worth of counterfeit brand-name goods and pirated DVDs in a major multi-parish investigation.

ATC agents had observed the suspect products during routine alcohol and tobacco permit inspections. Working with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office and local law enforcement officials in Evangeline, Lafayette, and Rapides parishes, agents with ATC’s Investigative Services Unit conducted raids on Friday, December 12, 2008, at the following businesses:

• Magic Mart - 2301 Broadway Avenue, Alexandria, La 71302
• Joe’s Corner - 902 Lincoln Road,Ville Platte, La 70586
• USA Express Inc. - 317 Pinhook Road, Lafayette, La 70501

The counterfeit products seized at all three locations included $30-thousand worth of fake Nike-branded shoes and pirated DVDs of movies that are still in theaters. In addition, the businesses were failing to collect sales taxes on the sales of the targeted items.

“Commercial fraud is always disturbing, but it is especially problematic during the Christmas Holidays when people are spending their hard earned money on products that turn out to be phony” said ATC Commissioner Murphy Painter. “Alcohol and Tobacco Control is partnering with state and local law enforcement throughout Louisiana to fight commercial fraud, and we will hold accountable any business that uses alcohol or tobacco permits to engage in illegal activity.”

For more information, please contact:

Sasha Hyderkhan
Public Information Officer
Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control
225.925.4041