Local News

2 Charged in Moore County Counterfeit Operation

Posted December 10, 2007 12:48 p.m. EST
Updated December 10, 2007 5:34 p.m. EST

— A father and son in Moore County have been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged counterfeit operation in which more than a thousand of parcels were shipped around the world.

Donald G. Fondrie, 70, of 736 Ginseng Road, and Warren E. Fondrie, 47, of 1209 Greenbriar Place, both of Vass, face two felony counts of possessing counterfeit trademarked goods with intent to sell the counterfeit goods.

Both men and a third person, Pei-I Chou, 41, a Taiwanese national, were also charged with resisting a public officer.

The North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State said the Fondries allegedly operated a business in which they imported fake goods from China with brand names including Nike, Titleist, Scotty Cameron, Golf Pride and LaCoste, and sold them on eBay.

Over a 28-day period, 1,113  parcels were sent across the United States and to foreign countries such as France, italy, Australia, Canada and Singapore.

"Just the sheer volume has been very large, and as I say, we're not yet through inventorying so we don't have a real dollar value, but we have lots of pieces and boxes full of these golf products, accessories and apparel," Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said.

Marshall said the alleged operation will have an impact on both businesses and the community.

"There are a lot of losers in this counterfeit product business," she said, including local merchants who invest in the community."

"When that company's product is being knocked off and a fake is sold, that impacts their bottom line," she said. "Additionally, sales tax is not paid on these to local governments."

The arrests, made last week, were the result of a two-month investigation by state and federal investigators. The U.S. Postal Service monitored shipping traffic connected to the case for some time, and there could be federal charges.