Two brothers from Long Island appear to have been the ringleaders of a counterfeit enterprise that sold millions of dollars' worth of fake beauty and health products, Nassau County law enforcement officials said.
Brothers Pardeep Malik, 59, and Hamant Mullick, 60, peddled the products to distributors up and down the East Coast from New York to Florida, according to the Nassau County District Attorney's Office.
On Thursday, police seized four tractor-trailers full of knockoff products imitating household and health essentials likeChapStick, inhalers and cold medications. The products were valued at more than $2 million.
"Health and beauty products like lip balms, oils, shampoos and inhalers are highly regulated in order to protect consumers, but these defendants are charged with going around those protections and stealing the brands of major corporations that comply with the law," District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. "These actions can endanger the public."
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The prosecutor's office is investigating the chemical makeups of the knockoff items in an attempt topinpoint any health risks they might pose to unwitting consumers.
"It could be anywhere. I mean, you could walk into any store, whether it's a corner store or a larger retail pharmacy, and get any of these products," Rice said.
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