Customs agents in Kentucky seize 230 counterfeit MLB, NBA, NFL championship rings

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Louisville, Kentucky, recently intercepted 230 counterfeit Super Bowl, World Series and NBA championship rings before the fake jewelry made it online for considerably more than they are worth.

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The shipment arrived Thursday at Louisville’s Express Consignment Operations hub en route from China to a residence in Wesley Chapel, Florida. An import specialist determined that the rings violated intellectual and property rights laws as well as presenting trademark issues and lacking proper licenses to import such goods into the country, the agency stated in a news release.

According to WDAF-TV, the shipment included 80 fake Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rings, 10 Milwaukee Bucks NBA championship rings, 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl rings and 110 Atlanta Braves World Series rings.

Had the rings been genuine, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the shipment would have totaled an estimated $345,000, the agency stated.

LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, the CBP’s director of field operations in Chicago, said in a prepared statement that counterfeit jewelry “continues to flood” the e-commerce marketplace and that “these rings were focused on a select group of sports collectors and their fans.

“Our officers are well-trained to find counterfeit merchandise like these in support of CBP’s mission of protecting the American public and the American economy,” Sutton-Burke added.

CBP investigators also said consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on licensed property such as sports gear, but roughly 20% of those items are counterfeit, WDAF-TV reported.

“As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third-party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise,” Thomas Mahn, director of the Louisville Port, said in a prepared statement.

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