A Dublin woman was charged last week after being arrested in a sting operation for allegedly selling counterfeit designer merchandise -- to the tune of thousands of dollars a month.
Detectives confiscated more than 3,000 fake designer products, including clothes, purses, sunglasses and other accessories with an estimated resale value of over $100,000, from two locations in Dublin as part of the investigation, according to Capt. Nate Schmidt.
"This is not a common occurrence for Dublin police, however it is a good example of the community working with the police to assist in taking these illegal items off the street," Schmidt told the Weekly.
Surin Phat, 40, faces two felony counts and one misdemeanor following her arrest on May 18. It was not immediately clear whether she is yet represented by an attorney.
The investigation into Phat began after Dublin police received an anonymous tip from a resident, according to Schmidt.
Officers engaged in an undercover buy from Phat on May 17 at which fake trademark handbags were purchased from a storage unit in Dublin set up as a wholesale store for counterfeit merchandise, according to a probable cause declaration filed with the court.
The next morning, the department's special investigations unit executed search warrants in the case, according to the police declaration. They allegedly found thousands of counterfeit designer products in the storage unit, as well as $12,688 in cash, sales ledgers, trademark sale preparation packaging and 20 pounds of processed marijuana in Phat's home.
The Dublin woman was placed under arrest after she arrived at the residence on South Mariposa Lane.
"Phat waived her Miranda Rights and provided a statement admitting the merchandise was Fake Designer Merchandise claiming to not be aware reselling these Trademark Products were illegal," according to the police declaration. "Phat stated she makes $7,000 to $9,000 a month in proceeds from the resale of these Fake Trademark Products."
Prosecutors charged Phat last Friday with two felony counts of possessing counterfeit registered trademark items for sale, with further allegations that each count involved more than 1,000 items at an overall value greater than $950 -- the threshold equivalent to grand theft under state law. She also faces one misdemeanor charge of possessing marijuana for sale.
Phat is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on June 20 at 9 a.m. in Department 702.
If convicted, she could be subject to between one and three years in county jail and a fine of up to $500,000 for each felony count, under state law.