LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has secured a 10-year injunction against the owner of Condotti European Inc., a merchant allegedly selling counterfeit luxury apparel items, including designer handbags, from a boutique at the California Market Center downtown. The merchant was also assessed a $50,000 civil penalty and was ordered to pay $12,500 in investigative costs.
“Counterfeit goods hurt legitimate businesses, damage consumers and have a negative effect on our local economy,” said Feuer. “This injunction continues to send the strong message that our office takes counterfeiting very seriously”
In October, 2015, law enforcement officers began investigating allegations that Fatemah Vahdat Mahdavi was selling high priced counterfeit luxury handbags from her boutique, Condotti European, located on the 10th floor of the California Market Center. During the investigation, undercover officers purchased counterfeit Chanel and Hermes handbags which were stored in a back room of the boutique. In each instance, undercover officers were not charged sales tax on the items, which ranged in price from $650-750, and received no receipt.
In March, 2016, a search warrant was served by the LAPD Anti-Piracy Unit on the business and officers recovered 68 counterfeit luxury handbags with a retail value of $277,800.
The injunction prohibits Mahdavi from possessing, transporting or storing any commonly counterfeited items including handbags, clothing, and clothing-related merchandise, and allows law enforcement to conduct warrantless searches of the business at any time. The court also ordered the business to not to engage in any internet sales or advertising related to handbags, wallets or apparel-related merchandise for the duration of the injunction. The business must also install at least three video cameras to allow law enforcement to monitor the entire showroom and backroom area.
Deputy City Attorney Kevin Gilligan of the City Attorney’s Anti-Counterfeit Enforcement Program secured the injunction.