Long Island woman accused of $40m fake goods scam

A woman from Long Island, New York, has been arrested and charged in connection with what authorities claim was counterfeiting operation focusing on luxury brands including Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Dior, Ugg, and Louis Vuitton.

Lindsay Castelli (31) has been accused of one count of trademark counterfeiting in the second degree, according to the Nassau County Police Department, which arrested her earlier this month at an address in Plainview.

The investigation into Castelli's activities – known as Operation Rainfall – started in April 2021, and was conducted with assistance from US Postal Inspectors.

She is reported to be the sole owner of Linny's Boutique in Plainview, "a storefront that contained thousands of synthetic heat-sealed counterfeit labels along with assorted clothing and jewelry." NCPD officers carried out a search at the store on October 4, removing 22 printing press machines.

Castelli is accused of taking cheap items like T shirts, sweatshirts and hats and printing luxury brand logos on them, in order to sell them on as designer goods at a massive profit, sometimes for upwards of $5,000. NCPD estimates that goods sold via the operation would have been worth more than $40 million if authentic.

"Further investigation revealed the items were being shipped all over the US," added the department, which said customers often though they were buying genuine products.

Castelli is due to appear in court on 2 November, and could face up to three years in prison if found guilty.

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