EXCLUSIVE: Bogus Phils gear seized in raid

October 29, 2008 4:39:03 PM PDT
Official t-shirts, hats and other products proclaiming the Phillies as World Series champions have already been printed, and will go on sale immediately if the Phillies win the World Series.However, unofficial items are being printed too.

Now, one of those operations is out of business after investigators busted them printing bogus merchandise.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections raided "T-Shirt Town" in Olney Wednesday, calling it "the mother lode."

Investigators carried out box after box of what they said was bogus Phillies World Series championship merchandise.

The operation was discovered by a private investigator hired by Major League Baseball.

The investigator, who asked not to be identified, said he found "a lot of caps, a lot of skullies, a lot of hoodies, a lot of sweatshirts, t-shirts and baseball caps. It was all Philadelphia Phillies merchandise that was geared up to be sold to vendors offering the stuff illegally on the streets of Philadelphia."

The investigators also found another 10,000 Eagles and NFL related items, also said to be bogus.

T-Shirt Town is infamous for this kind of stuff. Action News was there back in June of 1998 when authorities raided the same place, operated by the same man, Hyong Jin Wi. Back then, authorities hauled off four tractor-trailers worth of items.

L&I says, each year, consumers, Major Leagues Baseball, the NFL, and others are ripped off of millions of dollars in bogus merchandise, which is often manufactured in sweatshops.

Authorities want to remind you that real sports merchandise carries a hologram that is attached to each item sold.

Wi previously got probation for making counterfeit items, and now faces charges again which include trademark counterfeiting and conspiracy.


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