Ferndale woman indicted for trafficking counterfeit luxury goods

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Closet full of counterfeit goods. (U.S. Attorney's Office)

A Ferndale woman has been indicted for trafficking counterfeit luxury goods, the Western Washington U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

The attorney's office formally accused 42-year-old Kara Suneva Allen of advertising handbags and accessories through her business ‘Keepin Up With Kara’ LLC, based out of Ferndale. These goods appeared to be items from high-end retailers like Chanel, Christian Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Saint Laurent, Tiffany & Co. and more, but marked at only a fraction of their typical listing price.

According to court documents, that is because these products were actually knock-offs shipped from Hong Kong.

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office, Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection launched an investigation into the company and found that, in August and September 2021, three shipments were seized in Oakland, California. The shipments reportedly contained a slew of counterfeit handbags, wallets and jewelry.

Allen was notified of the seizures but never petitioned to have the goods released.

An undercover agent purchased what was advertised as a Louis Vuitton handbag for $110. The product is normally priced $1,690. Investigators reached out to a Louis Vuitton representative, who confirmed the handbag was a fake.

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On May 2, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Allen's home, car, and place of business, where they say they found large amounts of counterfeit merchandise.

Trafficking counterfeit goods is punished by up to 10 years in prison and a $2,000 fine. Allen is scheduled for arraignment on June 9.