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Feds seize nearly $5M in phony Super Bowl goods

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Federal officials say authorities have seized nearly $5 million worth of phony Super Bowl sportswear and merchandise in a nationwide sweep.

Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the results of the four-month investigation Thursday in Indianapolis.

Agents targeted stores, flea markets and street vendors that allegedly sold counterfeit game-related sportswear. Fake jerseys, ball caps, T-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs were among the 42,000 items confiscated in Operation Fake Sweep.

Authorities put the total take at more than $4.8 million, up from $3.7 million last year.

The government also is seizing more than 300 websites alleged to have illegally streamed live sporting telecasts over the Internet or sold counterfeit sports merchandise. Also seized were counterfeit Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL items worth about $1.6 million.

IBJ reported Wednesday that the NFL received temporary restraining and seizure orders from the Marion Superior Court for counterfeit merchandise.

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  • SOPA?
    So what was the purpose in defeating SOPA if the feds are going to sieze websites that 'allegedly' streamed content owned by the NFL? I'm all for cracking down, but isn't this at least generally disturbing to people?
  • Think a bit
    So the level of enforcement of the laws on our books should be based on the highest bidder? Sounds like a winning idea.
  • Yes.
    Yes, they could. But we're already giving away the farm to the NFL (not to mention giving it non-profit status while here) so why not give them police powers, too?
  • commission?
    Does the NFL pay the government to spend taxpayer money seizing merchandise? Couldn't the NFL just file civil suits against these sellers/distributors/etc. without all the public expense?

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