Feds seize $5 million in fake Super Bowl memorabilia

Story highlights

  • Feds say they seized more than 50,000 team hats, shirts and other items
  • $5.12 million value is up from initial $4.8 million estimate announced Thursday
  • Operation included 386 websites allegedly engaged in counterfeiting and piracy online
Federal authorities Tuesday announced they had seized more than 50,000 team hats, shirts and other items of phony Super Bowl-related memorabilia and related counterfeit items valued at more than $5 million.
The total take of $5.12 million is up from the initial estimate of $4.8 million announced last Thursday in Indianapolis by the NFL and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The widespread "Operation Fake Sweep" targeted stores, flea markets and street vendors selling game-related sportswear throughout the country
The law enforcement operation included 386 websites allegedly engaged in counterfeiting and piracy online. Most of the sites were illegally selling and distributing counterfeit merchandise, ICE officials said Tuesday, but 16 of the websites had streamed live sporting telecasts over the Internet including NFL games.
The only arrest announced to date involves suspect Yonjo Quiroa, 28, of Comstock Park, Michigan, whom authorities charged with operating 9 of the 16 websites which streamed video of pirated games. He is accused in a criminal complaint in the Southern District of New York with criminal copyright infringement for operating websites that distributed copyrighted sporting events.