Niagara Gazette

November 28, 2012

Fake hats lead to bust at Outlet Mall

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — TOWN OF NIAGARA -- A White Plains man is behind bars at the Niagara County jail after local and federal law enforcement agents busted him for selling counterfeit baseball caps at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls on Wednesday.

Weiliang Chen, 31, who agents said is currently living at a home in Amherst, was charged with second-degree trademark counterfeiting. He was arraigned in Town of Niagara Court and was held in lieu of $5,000 bail.

The arrest caps an investigation by the Niagara County Sheriff's office and Town of Niagara Police, along with agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI.

Chen was reportedly selling the baseball caps at a trio of kiosks inside the outlet mall. The caps carried the trademark of the Buffalo-based New Era Cap Co.

New Era is one of the largest suppliers of caps to major league sports. Among its clients are the National Football League and Major League Baseball.

When Chen was taken into custody, agents seized more than 200 counterfeit New Era caps and trademarked sports caps and merchandise. The retail value of the seized items was over $6,000.

Agents said their investigation into the source of the counterfeit goods is continuing.