North Carolina State Fair

State Fair vendors charged with selling knock-off goods

Posted October 21, 2010

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— State and local authorities seized more than $80,000 in counterfeit goods during a Wednesday raid on vendors at the State Fair, but one of those vendors was still open for business Thursday night.

The goods ranged from plaques with NFL team logos and Disney characters to designer handbags, officials with the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office said Thursday.

Martin Cohen, 50, of Jensen Beach, Fla., was charged with one felony count of criminal use of a counterfeit trademark. He is accused of having bogus plaques and other items with Disney characters and professional sports team logos.

James Paul McDermott and Teresa Ann McDermott, both of Gladstone, Mo., were charged with misdemeanor trademark violations for what appeared to be counterfeit handbags.

The McDermott's booth was still open for business Thursday night. When approached by a WRAL News reporter, James McDermott said he did not want to comment.

Fair spokesman Brian Long said the merchandise at the McDermott's booth on Thursday night was all legitimate, according to authorities he spoke with.

"If you come out here and sell goods, they need to be legitimate. If you don't, you are going to pay the price," Long said.

The State Fair features approximately 400 booths. If customers spot what they think is fake merchandise, they should let fair officials know.

The Raleigh Police Department, the Wake County Sheriff's Office and the State Fairgrounds police assisted in Wednesday's raid.


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  • Shaking My Head In Amusement Oct 22, 2010

    C'mon now! Any woman wanting a designer bag #1 isn't going to go to the State Fair to get it from a carnie and #2 knows a real one from a knock off one! Leave this guy alone and let him sell whatever he wants to sell, however "cheap" he wants to sell it, to whomever 'feels' like they're going to blend in with those of us who buy the real designer bags. I don't care if someone buys a carbon copy of my $485 Coach bag for $45 from the State Fair if it boosts their happiness and they 'feel' good carrying it. To each their own, right? We all make a living in a different way and we all spend it in a different way. Let him make his selling counterfeit property if her can live with himself each day. He should have to pay royalty fees to Disney/NFL/the different designers tho out of fairness to their hard work...whether real it or not. He IS portraying their name.

  • 007KnightRider Oct 22, 2010

    Those Krispy Kreme burgers better use real KK and real hamburger not Dunkin' or some off brand meats, lol.

  • Rebelyell Oct 22, 2010

    Isn't that why we go to the fair? To mix with the carnies and the outcasts, to pretend to be on their level for a few hours, eating unhealthy greeasy grub while standing up in a crowd of scary people that push you around? Busting people for this? Does anyone know what used to be sold at the fair? Peep shows and worse. Do police in Atlanta bust anyone for selling knockoffs at Underground Atlanta? I think not. Some laws stop people from getting damaged. Some laws help protect people while they get rich. Do I pay taxes to support the latter group? Please no.

  • ncguy Oct 22, 2010

    I wonder who cracked the case?

    barney fife?

  • MilkandPepsi2 Oct 22, 2010

    And I was going to get me a Dior bag at the fair..

  • Internet Hate Machine 2 Oct 22, 2010

    Is that Brother Justin from Carnivale?

  • raysson Oct 22, 2010

    Go to any flea market here in the area. There is a lot of this fakeness on display at the Flea Market that is on the Almance-Orange County Line at Buckhorn Road near Interstates 85-40. Pirated clothes,shoes,purses,bootlegged DVD's and CD's and the sad part is that they'll sell it at a high price. Don't be scam!!!! Any woman off the street knows the difference with the quickness if a Gucci bag or a pair of Claiborne's are either "real" or "fake".

  • raysson Oct 22, 2010

    This isn't the first time that this has happened during the State Fair. This has been going on for years,and years. The guy who is pictured here,is not the only one became the scenes. You have a lot of them(mostly of these vendors of illegal immigrants from Nigeria and not to mention India and Mexico)that pulls scams to get consumers to buy their fake merchandise. Even pirating DVD's and CD's that were being bootlegged. And any woman can tell you the difference if a Gucci or Tommy Hilfiger is "real" or "fake".

  • kanapolis Oct 22, 2010

    I'm concerned that my deep fried Snickers bar was a fake.

  • brand7976 Oct 22, 2010

    Just another case of the government working at the beck and call of corporations. The customers know the products are fake. The trademark holders are making a killing anyway. It's a victimless crime.