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‘Underground Economy’ task force raids Concord man’s home for allegedly selling counterfeit high-end accessories on OfferUp

‘Underground Economy’ task force raids Concord man’s home for allegedly selling counterfeit high-end accessories on OfferUp

CONCORD — A 57-year-old man has been charged with five felonies for allegedly running a scam for years that involved him allegedly advertising Rolex watches and other expensive luxury items on an online merchant app.

The Concord resident has been charged with five felony counts of advertising counterfeit goods, after police raided his home and arrested him in late June, court records show. He has pleaded not guilty and is next due in court in mid-September.

During a search of his home, authorities found dozens of watches, belts, handbags, flip flops, backpacks, earrings, scarves, and other accessories that had been labeled with well-known designer brands like Gucci, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Versace, and the National Football League, authorities said.

The investigation was led by the Tax Recovery Underground Economy Task Force, a branch of the California Department of Justice that was founded by an assembly bill in 2020. The TRUE task forced was tipped off by an investigator with Investigative Consultants, a private firm dedicated to weeding out counterfeit goods, who conducted a series of undercover buys with the suspect, authorities said.

In one such undercover buy, the private investigator met with the 57-year-old man at a CVS parking lot in Concord to purchase purported Rolex watches. Later, another investigator responded to an ad for Rolex watches the man posted, in which he asked for a $20,000 purchase price, authorities said.

The scam appears to have been going on for years; in September 2021, the man’s home was searched and similar counterfeit items were found, authorities said. The felony charges cover alleged incidents from June 2020 to September 2021.