Ordinarily, counterfeiting applies to highly coveted commodities—designer clothing, hot tech, and, of course, cold hard cash. For a couple of now-defunct New York scammers, though, those products appear to be a little too high profile, given that they had been counterfeiting beauty products like Always pads and Vaseline.
New Yorkers Pardeep Malik and Hamant Mullick, a pair of brothers aged 59 and 60, respectively, are accused of operating a three-state counterfeiting ring—Pennsylvania included—that copied dozens of popular health and beauty products on the market today.
Here, CNN breaks down the charges:
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.
The pair allegedly sold off knockoffs of Johnson’s Baby Oil, Vicks VapoRub, Chapstick, and others—including the aforementioned maxi-pads. Now, ordinarily, most people aren’t concerned with the authenticity of their Chapstick or Vick’s, which is totally understandable. However, officials say that the products the brothers sent out had no material data safety sheets, so the products in question have the potential to be dangerous, however, inadvertently.
The brothers are currently charged with felony trademark counterfeiting, and are held on a $100,000 bond each.