Knockoff Report™ #574: Trump, China, Eggs and Subs

Trump’s Next Target Counterfeit Campaign Merchandise - Knockoff Report™ #574Trump’s Next Target: Counterfeit Campaign Merchandise

Bank Of China Ordered To Disclose Counterfeiting Ring’s Records In Fake Gucci Bags Case

Chinese Counterfeit Eggs Made of Plastic May Be Popping Up in Thailand

U.S. Trade Group Seeks Relisting of Alibaba’s Taobao as ‘Notorious’

$11M in Counterfeit Handbags Seized at Miami Seaport

FBI Works with Online Stores to Clamp Down on Counterfeit Goods

Justice Department Announces New Strategy to Combat Intellectual Property Crimes and $3.2 Million in Grant Funding to State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies

Massachusetts Man Sentenced for Selling Counterfeit Components to Military Contractors

Why Counterfeit Cables Could be Hurting Your Business

Counterfeit Goods Worth More than £1.5m Seized by Police in Raids in Strangeways Area

Court Upholds Verdict in Billionaire Koch’s Counterfeit Wine Case

Suspected counterfeit goods seized at Goose Fair - Knockoff Report™ #574Suspected Counterfeit Goods Seized at Goose Fair

Calhoun County Resident Arrested on Counterfeit Goods Charge

NCC to Nigerians: Don’t use Counterfeit Mobile Devices

Counterfeiting Continues to be Concern for ICE

Guilty Plea in Counterfeit Cell-phone Parts Scam

Medicrime Convention Against Counterfeit Drugs To Enter Into Force In 2016

Kenya: Anti-Counterfeit Agency, Samsung Crack Down On Fake Phones

Police Seize Counterfeit Goods in Folkestone

Russian Government Cracks Down on Counterfeit Alcohol

Philadelphia ‘Purse Man’ Charged with Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods

UL Warns of Counterfeit UL Mark on Rolling Fire Doors

Man Charged with Trying to Sell 242 Counterfeit Cubs Hats Outside Wrigley

Startups Benefit as Feds Crack Down on Intellectual Property Crimes

BOOK REVIEW: Black Market Billions


Rob Holmes and Best-selling author Hitha Prabhakar

As I do the last few days of every April I was preparing for the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition Spring Meeting.  Per my normal routine, I downloaded the agenda and devised a conference plan.  I noted that this year, unlike last, the conference had a host: Hitha Prabhakar, author of the new best seller Black Market Billions: How Organized Retail Crime Funds Global Terrorists.  In preparation of the possibility of carrying on a conversation with her, I decided to extend her the courtesy of purchasing the book on my favorite book site,  Don’t laugh.  Come on.  You didn’t expect a narcissistic guy this hopped up on Starbucks to be able to sit down and actually read a book in three days, did you?  Besides, I love listening to non-fiction books.

Black Market Billions began with the author receiving an instant message from a friend offering her handbags for sale at a very attractive price.  Knowing that she is a full-time fashion reporter, the friend explained that the items he was selling ‘fell off the truck’.  What followed was a rabbit hole I was not expecting.  Most books that involve the world of counterfeit goods focus on the counterfeit goods industry (makes sense, doesn’t it?), but not this one.  In order to set the table properly to explain the role that counterfeit goods play in our society, Prabhakar first takes us deep into the varied world of shoplifting, human trafficking and Organized Retail Crime.

Knockoff Report - BOOK REVIEW Black Market Billions

Most of my readers know I grew up in the anti-counterfeiting industry so one may assume I was schooled in all of the ways counterfeit goods are tied to the dark parts of the world’s economy.  One would be wrong.  I knew all about cargo theft, human trafficking, parallel imports and (of course) product counterfeiting and cybercrime.  Although I knew that retail boosting existed, I didn’t know how organized it was and that it is directly tied to the same black market.  I know we can watch an episode of reality television to learn something new, but Black Market Billions added a new view to even this easily jaded joker.  Early on, she moves right to the ties between counterfeit goods and radical terrorists.  Some of these stories were cases I had worked on, so it hit home as closely as it was well-written.

Moving through the chapters, I first was trying to figure out where she was going because the structure was not organized like most books, where there would be claim, evidence, conclusion, rinse, repeat.  She told stories of individuals through their eyes and provided case studies with insight into their effect on these individuals.  As the book unfolded I felt myself engrossed in a story that I thought I knew but saw it in a different light.  Perhaps this insight was partially due to the fact that it was written by a woman.  The stories felt personal and the street crime was real as it was woven into the larger picture of Big Fashion.

I recommend this book, not only for those interested in anti-counterfeiting, but anyone who reads true crime or even thrillers.  Keep an eye on this author as well.  To top it all off, I did end up chatting with her at a party, so my reading it in time was worth it!

Now I’m going to finish my coffee.


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