- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Cops Bust Funeral Store for Selling “Counterfeit” Paper Bags

Must Read

Photo credit: World Journal.

It’s well known that people peddling fake goods in Chinatown will go to extraordinary lengths to — literally — keep making a quick buck,  But could it be that they’re actually using a funeral supply store on Mulberry Street as a front for their illegal businesses?

That’s apparently what police and U.S. Customs agents suspected Tuesday when they swooped in on the unassuming store, Fook On Sing, located at 44 Mulberry Street.  They confiscated a number of “bags” emblazoned with designer labels and other items, which according to the store owners and employees, are ceremonial offerings made of paper. The items. which also include (obviously) fake money and miniature sports cars, are traditionally burned after loved ones pass away.

Photo credit: World Journal.

During a visit to the store this evening, Rickie Lee (who works as an assistant to the owners) said officers showed up Tuesday afternoon, asking what various items cost (one paper bag on display tonight goes for $6). According to her account and reports in Singtao Daily and World Journal (Chinese language newspapers),  a young clerk was arrested and taken into custody. Lee said he was finally released today. The young man awaits an October court date.

A short time ago, we received the following statement from City Councilmember Margaret Chin, who represents Chinatown and has been fighting to curb counterfeit sales:

I don’t understand how these paper offerings would be misconstrued for counterfeit goods. This is a 100 year old Chinese tradition to honor the dead. At best it is a mistake, at worse, it is culturally insensitive. We all know where the counterfeit goods are sold. They are on the street, in plain view, sold out of  garbage bags and bed sheets. Why a funeral supply store was targeted for selling paper maiche is beyond me.

Earlier this year, Chin introduced legislation that, if enacted, would make purchasing counterfeit items a misdemeanor crime.   “Our bill targets those who willingly buy counterfeit trademark goods. I highly doubt anyone looking for that type of good would mistake them for funeral offerings,” Chin added.

A few moments ago, the New York Times reported:

A police spokesman on Wednesday would only offer information from the arrest report, including that the worker who was arrested on Tuesday, Wing Sun Mak, was observed offering to sell three handbags “that bore a counterfeit trademark Burberry” and one handbag that bore a fake Louis Vuitton insignia. He was also observed offering for sale four pairs of shoes and two outfits… He was held overnight in a local precinct house and then arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Criminal Court at 100 Centre Street, several blocks from the store, before being released. He was charged with two counts of copyright infringement in the third degree. Jonathan L. Stonbely, a lawyer from Legal Aid assigned to Mr. Mak, said he was prepared to defend his client against the charges and that he rejected an offer from prosecutors to allow Mr. Mak to plead guilty to disorderly conduct and pay a $100 fine.

- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Lower East Side Arts & Events Weekly Roundup

Morgan Bassichis returns to Abrons on March 31st with their show, "A Crowded Field." Photo by Maria Baranova. Here are...
- Advertisement -spot_img

More Articles Like This

Sign up for Our Weekly Newsletter!