Long Island

Long Island Woman Faked $40M Worth of Gucci, Chanel Labels in Nationwide Scheme: Cops

Combined, the items were worth about $40,000,000 -- and investigators say they were being shipped all over America

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A 31-year-old Long Island woman has been arrested in an alleged $40 million counterfeit goods scheme, manufacturing fake Gucci, Chanel, Prada and other high-end labels out of the boutique she owns, Nassau County police said Tuesday.

Lindsay Castelli surrendered to Nassau County Asset Forfeiture detectives late last week in the more than year-long scheme, authorities allege. She faces a charge of second-degree trademark counterfeiting in the case.

According to investigators, detectives launched an investigation in April 2021 into Linny's Boutique, the Plainview shop on Old Country Road where Castelli is listed as the sole owner. U.S. Postal Service inspectors assisted.

The probe found Castelli's store allegedly contained thousands of synthetic heat-sealed counterfeit labels with assorted clothing and jewelry. A search warrant executed there a week ago yielded 22 heat press machines and various counterfeit items with labels ranging from Dior to Ugg, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and Prada, officials said.

Nassau County cops described the basement of the boutique as a sort of sweatshop operation in which inexpensive clothes made from China had fake designer labels put on them. Those were then sold as real. Profits were huge in some cases. A $10 sweatshirt, for example, sold for $5,000 police said.

Combined, the items were worth about $40,000,000, and investigators say they were being shipped all over America, purchased from both the store and an online website. The kind of counterfeiting Castelli is accused of doing can be big business: In 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized items with a suggested retail vale of over $3 billion.

Castelli was released on a desk appearance ticket and is due back in court next month. If convicted, she could face up to three years behind bars.

Attorney information for her wasn't immediately available. Her boutique was closed on Tuesday; no one was available for comment at her home in Smithtown.

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