Counterfeit Beauty Product Ring Busted in New York

Two brothers are accused of operating a counterfeit beauty and health supply ring, with products ranging from baby oil to sanitary napkins.

The operation covered at least three states and used dozens of phony beauty and health products. Via CNN:

Brothers Pardeep Malik, 59, and Hamant Mullick, 60, are accused of running an enterprise whose products also turned up in Pennsylvania and Florida, according to the Nassau County District Attorney's Office. Authorities seized more than $2 million worth of products and were looking at bank accounts to determine the size of the enterprise.

Law enforcement authorities seized four tractor-trailers filled with knockoff health products from five locations on Long Island on Thursday. A manufacturer described the operation as the biggest known counterfeit enterprise in the United States, while another company called it the only known such manufacturing operation in the country for its products, prosecutors said.

They were allegedly selling fake products such as ChapStick, Johnson's Baby Oil, Vicks VapoRub, Vaseline and Always pads. (Wow, who would have guessed there was a lucrative market for fake maxi-pads?) The products were sold to their distributors and then sent to retailers in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.

They were both charged with felony trademark counterfeiting and are being held on bond of $100,000 each.

Honestly, the last thing in the world I would worry about is whether or not my ChapStick is a knock-off. But there's a good reason why officials are concerned about these products. Officials who found the products reported there no material data safety sheets found with any of the products or supplies used in production. Now, prosecutors are trying to determine if any of the products are the market are dangerous or pose any possible health risks. Yikes.

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