Brockton strip club allegedly sold fake merchandise
Police say sports goods offered to customers were fake
News partner The Enterprise reports that the cargo of fake goods -– manufactured to look like official products from area sports teams, including the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Rox -– were being peddled to customers for $10 each or given away for free with a purchase of two lap dances, said Brockton Code Enforcement Officer Scott Uhlman.
When authorities arrived at the North Pearl Street strip club around 1 p.m., several of the dancers were seen wearing the shirts, Uhlman said.
“They had the girls wearing the shirts, trying to sell them to the customers,” he said.
Officials seized without incident 420 shirts featuring the fake team logos worth $10,500, Uhlman said. As of Friday police reported no arrests.
When reached at his establishment just before 4 p.m. Friday, club owner Frank Caswell said that he was advised by law enforcement officials not to discuss the matter. Uhlman disputed that claim.
“With all due respect, the people that came in today, that was doing the confiscating, had given me explicit instruction to not to talk about it,” Caswell said. “I was led to believe that this should not be discussed with anyone.”
The raid is part of an ongoing investigation by Brockton police detectives and Homeland Security tracking down traders and sellers of counterfeit merchandise in the region, Uhlman said.
Uhlman said local authorities were tipped off to this case by the trademark rights advocacy group Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports Logos, based in Idaho.
Police did not say how long Caswell had been selling the items, where he bought them or how much he made.
Police said Caswell bought the shirts for between $3 and $5 and sold them for $10. But for two lap dances worth $30 customers received a free shirt.
Of the seized shirts, many featured vintage logos for the Patriots, Red Sox, Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics. Some shirts combined the name of the club with a team logo. A few more featured the Patriots logo facing in the wrong direction.
“They’re garbage,” Uhlman said of the quality of the fakes.
Authorities say that this is the first time they’ve tracked such activities to the club, which opened on Pearl Street in 1999.
But it’s not the first Brockton store to get caught selling fake goods, Uhlman said.
Last December police busted Faye Silva, owner of Village Uniforms at Westgate Mall, on charges of making and selling counterfeit sports merchandise. In that raid authorities confiscated $35,900 in fake goods at the Brockton store.
The items seized included sports jerseys that were being sold as genuine NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB merchandise, a heat press and various major league team logos that Silva allegedly used to make the fakes.