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5 Mall Vendors Charged With Selling Fake Labels

CHICAGO (CBS) - Five vendors at a West Side mall have been charged with selling handbags, shoes and baseball caps with counterfeit labels.

Based on information received by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Cook County sheriff's police launched an investigation into vendors at the MP Mall, at 3973 W. Madison St., in the East Garfield Park neighborhood just east of Pulaski Road.

Undercover officers were sent to the mall, and over a period of four moths bought numerous items with counterfeit logos from designer brands.

This past Wednesday, Cook County Sheriff's Special Operations officers and immigration agents served search warrants on nine booths at the mall. They found more than 1,100 items with the counterfeit logos of Major League Baseball, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Ed Hardy, True Religion, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Nike.

In total, investigators found 61 handbags and apparel items with fake labels, 620 MLB hats, and 39 pairs of Nike shoes, the sheriff's office said.

Five vendors -- four men and one woman -- were charged collectively with 15 counts of possession of counterfeit trademarks:

--Terrance Gray, 48, of the 0-99 block of North Mason Avenue;
--Chong S. Lim, 49, of the 900 block of Mayfair Court in Elk Grove Village;
--Amadou Diop, 29, of the 1500 block of Algonquin Road in Algonquin;
--Kadiatou D. Diallo, 30, of the 1700 block of North Spaulding Avenue;
--Sung H. Kang, 25, of the 9400 block of North Merrill Avenue in Morton Grove.

The counterfeit baseball hats were selling best, the sheriff's office said. Many vendors bought them for a mere $3.50 from a wholesaler, then sold them at a markup to $7.

But a hat with a real MLB team logo could be worth $20 to $40, the sheriff's office reported.

All four suspects are due for a hearing Dec. 2 at the West Side branch court, at 3150 W. Flournoy St. in the back of the Harrison Area police headquarters.

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