Liang Lin, 34, is facing some very real and serious punishments for selling designer knock-offs out of his two boardwalk stores in Ocean City, Md. He faces more than 10 years in prison and up to $2 million in fines.
Prosecutors say Lin trafficked counterfeit goods including shoes, handbags, clothing, perfume, and hats, posing his fake merchandise as designer brands like Coach, Vera Wang, Gucci, Nike, and Louis Vuitton.
Officials say Lin's case is the first of what could be many more, resulting from a huge undercover counterfeit sting operation in August 2011 when federal, state, and local authorities seized fake merchandise from 24 boardwalk stores.
One local merchant says counterfeiting has been a big problem for as long as he's been in business in Ocean City, and that stretches back three decades. But he thinks that maybe this time, merchants will be thinking twice before putting something fake on their shelves.