LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Attorney has secured $388,000 in fines and strict
court-ordered conditions against a downtown garment merchant for selling designer namebrand counterfeit items. Ahmad Salim, the owner and operator of El Socalo, was the target of a multi-agency undercover operation in downtown Los Angeles and was found to possess or to have sold 1,552 counterfeit clothing items from his store since 2004.
“The illegal sale of counterfeit goods damages consumers, legitimate retailers, manufacturers and the financial health of our city,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “This office is working closely with our law enforcement partners and business owners to ferret out counterfeiting throughout the city.”
Defendant Salim committed 1,552 violations of the unfair competition law while selling
counterfeit goods. The Court ordered Salim to pay a penalty of $250 for each of the counterfeit items found in his possession, totaling $388,000. The Court also imposed a seven-year injunction prohibiting Salim from possessing, selling, manufacturing or storing counterfeit goods at any location and prohibits the transfer of the business to a third party without prior court approval. Failure to comply with the judgment, will force Salim to close the business.
The case against Salim was a result of a joint investigation by the LAPD and FBI into
counterfeit goods sales in the Downtown fashion district in May 2011. During several
undercover operations, investigators were able to purchase counterfeit apparel items at El Socalo including Lacoste and Burberry shirts and True Religion Brand Jeans. The items were always purchased from Salim in cash without a receipt and often from a hidden back room in the store.
Deputy City Attorney Kevin A. Gilligan of the City Attorney’s Federal and Local Special
Abatement Operations prosecuted the case with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.