Gokhan Kucuk, John Giang Ly and Joon Heung Son Busted in "Operation Fashion Faux Pas"

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Gokhan Kucuk of Huntington Beach, John Giang Ly of Westminster and Garden Grove shoe shop owner Joon Heung Son are facing felony charges stemming from "Operation Fashion Faux Pas," an Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation of Orange County retailers suspected of dealing in counterfeit designer goods. Kucuk, 33, operates Hot Trends kiosks in Surf City, 24-year-old Ly sells purses out of his home, and Son is the 45-year-old owner of Shoe World stores in Garden Grove and LA.

The Hot Trender being in hot water is not new: both Kucuk and Ly have been previously convicted of state intellectual property violations, notes ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) authorities in a statement. While feds led the operation, the charges are being brought in state Super Court in Santa Ana by the Orange County District Attorney's office.

When HSI special agents served a search warrant at Kucuk's three kiosks last November, they seized hundreds of wallets, cell phone cases and jewelry bearing counterfeit trademarks for such designer brands as Burberry and Prada, according to the HSI release.

That same month, a search of Ly's Westminster residence turned up phony designer purses purporting to be manufactured by Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, the agency alleges.

Over at Garden Grove's Shoe World, special agents seized several dozen pairs of counterfeit footwear, including shoes bearing bogus Juicy Couture and Tory Burch labels, HSI reports.

The goods seized from all three vendors would have retailed for close to $100,000 had the merchandise been genuine, claims HSI, which was assisted in the busts by local cops from Westminster, Garden Grove and Huntington Beach.

Operation Fashion Faux Pas has now nabbed seven Orange County vendors, including the suppliers and proprietors of Cobbler's Corner in Laguna Beach and the operators of Spa by Mode in Westminster. The 18 warranted and consensual searches have resulted seizures of more than $820,000 worth of counterfeit purses, jewelry, sunglasses, cosmetics, perfume and other goods, HSI boasts.

Oh, and the agency reminds shoppers that Friday is World Intellectual Property Day, which since 1970 has been marked every April 26 "to recognize the importance of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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4 comments
BBT-
BBT-

Wow - Mitchell Young, you have a lot of time on your hands dude.  I won't partake in the immigration debate here... but I'm sure these guys weren't trying to decive people by selling the goods at prices the real stuff goes for.  I mean come on... Louis Vuitton stuff purchased in Garbage Grove?  Who doesn't like buying high quality knock-offs for a fraction of the price.  Santee Alley anyone?  If it were up to me, there would be no such thing as intellectual property.  Kick ass torrents and pirate bay anyone? 

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Doesn't Immigration and Customs Enforcement have enough to do without bothering people about counterfeit goods. I mean does anyone really care besides a few companies. Illegals should be priority number 1. Until they are all deported they should suspend all anti-counterfeiting efforts.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

Illegal purses don't cost me anything. Illegal immigrant children cost 8,000 to 10,000 dollars per year to 'educate'.

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

@Mitchell_Young  Native American Indians and Mexicans are the only people in this country who are not illegal immigrants.

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