Lafayette store owner pleads guilty to selling counterfeit merchandise
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Lafayette business owner pleaded guilty Thursday to selling counterfeit clothes, phone cases and other items.
Tawfic Ahmed Saleh, 32, of Lafayette, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. According to the guilty plea, law enforcement agents searched AA Discount Plus LLC doing business as “Urban Buzz,” a clothing and variety store in Lafayette on November 18, 2014. During the search, agents found and seized numerous suspected counterfeit items including: 258 articles of clothing and 20 watches labeled “Ralph Lauren Polo”; 42 phone cases labeled “Otterbox”; 25 women’s purses, four watches and 25 wallets labeled “Michael Kors”; 45 watches labeled “Casio”; 15 belts labeled “Guicci”; and eight belts labeled “Louis Vuitton.” Saleh was later questioned and admitted to selling counterfeit items. Saleh operated the business from 2005 to 2007 and reopened it in 2009.
Saleh faces up to 10 years in prison, three years supervised release and a $2 million fine. A sentencing date was not set.
Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph and John Luke Walker are prosecuting the case.