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A man uses an Apple Inc. iPhone 4S at an Apple shop in the Sanlitun area of Beijing, China, on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. China's retail sales exceeded forecasts and inflation unexpectedly cooled to the slowest pace in 33 months, signaling the government is boosting growth without driving a rebound in prices. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Federal authorities are going after businesses selling counterfeit merchandise during a nationwide crackdown on Cyber Monday.
This is the third year in a row Immigration and Customs Enforcement is cracking down during an undercover operation ICE calls "Project Cyber Monday.”
ICE officials said the owner of Staxxs on Deck in El Cajon was running a bootleg website called "23 Is King” claiming the merchandise advertised online was real, when it was actually counterfeit.
Authorities said he sold brand new latest edition Nike sneakers for $60 a pair - about $75 off the regular price. And in just 2 years, ICE says the owner made $1.5 million dollars off that website.
Authorities partnered with their counterparts in Europe for this investigation. They came to the conclusion that the sneakers were allegedly purchased in bulk from China, and then sold at super discounted prices.
While authorities want to send a message to counterfeit websites on Cyber Monday, they're also warning consumers to take precaution with their online purchases.
“You’re not getting the real product and sometimes you’re getting a dangerous product that hasn’t been tested and is not reliable,” said Deputy Special Agent Michael Carney with ICE Homeland Security Investigations.
One arrest has been made in this sweep, but several site owners face felony charges.
ICE says to avoid getting scammed go to the manufacturer’s site. You can also check with the manufacturer to confirm whether the business orders from them. To report any suspicious counterfeit activity go to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center website.