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Couple Busted For Allegedly Selling Knockoff Handbags, Jewelry

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Authorities conducted a major bust of counterfeit bags, watches and sunglasses Wednesday afternoon at a small store in Lower Manhattan.

Investigators piled garbage bags containing the knockoffs at the corner of Canal and Lafayette streets.

The husband and wife team of Chen Zhibin and Yun Wei Huang – of College Point Queens – were arrested and charged with trademark counterfeiting and criminal tax fraud. They were awaiting arraignment late Wednesday afternoon.

They operated the Mendi Gift Shop at 251A Canal St.

A source close to the investigation told CBS 2 the couple was selling counterfeit designer handbags, jewelry, watches and sunglasses that displayed registered trademarks of well-known brands. The brands included Hermes, Rolex, Michael Kors, Celine, Chanel, Ray Ban, Prada, Coach, Hublot, Tory Burch, Gucci, and Oakley.

The items were all sold at deep discount prices, including $2,000 Celine handbags for being sold for $400; $190 Michael Kors handbags being sold for $45; $7,500 Rolex watches being sold for $100; and Chanel and Hermes jewelry worth $500 to $900 being sold for $25, the source said.

The bust was the result of a seven-month undercover investigation by the office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, with assistance from the state Department of Taxation.

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