Knockoff Report™ #543

Louis Vuitton Parent, eBay Settle 8-Year Old Fight Over Knock-offs - Knockoff Report™ #543Louis Vuitton Parent, eBay Settle 8-Year Old Fight Over Knock-offs

Knockoff Oscar Peddler Owes Academy Big Bucks

Man Accused Selling Counterfeit Cellphone Covers in Maine

Illinois Man Sentenced for Trafficking Counterfeit Goods, Drugs into U.S.

Minnesota Man Charged in Counterfeit Jersey Sales

Vimax Combats Counterfeiters

Deadly Fake Wine Flooding Britain’s Off-licences: Laced With Bleach, Nail Polish and Anti-Freeze – and Passed Off as Top Brands

Fake Britain’s Knock-off Goods: From Shardonnay to Brick Dust Covered in Road Paint and Sold as Heart Drug

Dubai Police Seize Fake Goods Worth $9.2m in 15 Days

Fake Designer Clothes Factory Raided in Johannesburg

Jamaica Cops Seize $465m in Counterfeit Goods

India to Pay Whistleblowers for Info on Counterfeit Drugs

Counterfeit Goods, Drugs Among Most Seized Items in Qatar

High Capacity & Counterfeit Batteries (iPhone & Samsung)

Knockoff Report Thursday

These Knock-Off Toys Will Delight and Horrify YouThese Knock-Off Toys Will Delight and Horrify You

How to Spot a Counterfeit Prom Dress

Local Man Sold Counterfeit Sports Merchandise in Smithtown Store

Man Produced Hundreds of Counterfeit DVDs

The CFDA and eBay Continue Anti-Counterfeiting Crusade with Help from 90 Designers

Knockoff Products Abound Online

Local Suspects Charged In Nationwide Marijuana and Counterfeit Cigarette Ring

Dodgy Bros Counterfeit Superstore – Police Swoop on Gabi Zayout who Allegedly had Fake Goods

Crossbow, Speargun, Drugs and Counterfeiting Equipment Seized in Rydalmere

Counterfeit Goods Seized at Tukcom

Mianyang Cracks Down Counterfeit Wine by Helping Consumer Differentiate

NSW Police Bust Counterfeit Goods Ring

Two Arrested in Bogor Counterfeiting Sting

BOOK REVIEW: Black Market Billions

rob-holmes-and-hitha-prabhakar1

Rob Holmes and Best-selling author Hitha Prabhakar

As I do the last few days of every April I was preparing for the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition Spring Meeting.  Per my normal routine, I downloaded the agenda and devised a conference plan.  I noted that this year, unlike last, the conference had a host: Hitha Prabhakar, author of the new best seller Black Market Billions: How Organized Retail Crime Funds Global Terrorists.  In preparation of the possibility of carrying on a conversation with her, I decided to extend her the courtesy of purchasing the book on my favorite book site, audible.com.  Don’t laugh.  Come on.  You didn’t expect a narcissistic guy this hopped up on Starbucks to be able to sit down and actually read a book in three days, did you?  Besides, I love listening to non-fiction books.

Black Market Billions began with the author receiving an instant message from a friend offering her handbags for sale at a very attractive price.  Knowing that she is a full-time fashion reporter, the friend explained that the items he was selling ‘fell off the truck’.  What followed was a rabbit hole I was not expecting.  Most books that involve the world of counterfeit goods focus on the counterfeit goods industry (makes sense, doesn’t it?), but not this one.  In order to set the table properly to explain the role that counterfeit goods play in our society, Prabhakar first takes us deep into the varied world of shoplifting, human trafficking and Organized Retail Crime.

Knockoff Report - BOOK REVIEW Black Market Billions

Most of my readers know I grew up in the anti-counterfeiting industry so one may assume I was schooled in all of the ways counterfeit goods are tied to the dark parts of the world’s economy.  One would be wrong.  I knew all about cargo theft, human trafficking, parallel imports and (of course) product counterfeiting and cybercrime.  Although I knew that retail boosting existed, I didn’t know how organized it was and that it is directly tied to the same black market.  I know we can watch an episode of reality television to learn something new, but Black Market Billions added a new view to even this easily jaded joker.  Early on, she moves right to the ties between counterfeit goods and radical terrorists.  Some of these stories were cases I had worked on, so it hit home as closely as it was well-written.

Moving through the chapters, I first was trying to figure out where she was going because the structure was not organized like most books, where there would be claim, evidence, conclusion, rinse, repeat.  She told stories of individuals through their eyes and provided case studies with insight into their effect on these individuals.  As the book unfolded I felt myself engrossed in a story that I thought I knew but saw it in a different light.  Perhaps this insight was partially due to the fact that it was written by a woman.  The stories felt personal and the street crime was real as it was woven into the larger picture of Big Fashion.

I recommend this book, not only for those interested in anti-counterfeiting, but anyone who reads true crime or even thrillers.  Keep an eye on this author as well.  To top it all off, I did end up chatting with her at a party, so my reading it in time was worth it!

Now I’m going to finish my coffee.