A record $13.6 million worth of counterfeit NFL merchandise was seized this season. Over 160,000 pieces of Super Bowl memorabilia has been discovered in recent days.
“Organized criminals are preying on that excitement, ripping consumers off with counterfeit merchandise and stealing from the American businesses who have worked hard to build a trusted brand,” said ICE director John Morton, in a statement. “The sale of counterfeit jerseys and other sports items undermines the legitimate economy, takes jobs away from Americans, and fuels crime overseas. No good comes of counterfeiting American products — whether NFL jerseys, airbags, or pharmaceuticals — and we must go after the criminals behind it.”
ESPN reports that the NFL shut down 4,200 websites this year that sold counterfeit materials.
It is not exactly clear how the $13.6 million number was arrived at. Was the retail value of the items that were counterfeit used or was the counterfeit price used? It may seem like a small point but could represent a large number of items.