MS man sentenced after multi-million dollar counterfeit sale operation

(Mississippi Attorney General's Office)
Published: Mar. 8, 2019 at 5:32 PM CST
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ALCORN COUNTY, MS (WMC) - A jury sentenced an Alcorn County man on a multi-million dollar counterfeit sting.

Russell Haynie, 45, was sentenced to five years at Mississippi Department of Corrections and 32 months in federal prison (to be served concurrently) for trafficking counterfeit goods.

Haynie was arrested in September 2016 at Discount Wallet Outlet in Corinth, Mississippi. Investigators found $1.5 million in counterfeit goods that were being sold from the store and online.

Then in September 2017, Haynie was arrested again. This time, investigators found more than $2 million worth of counterfeit goods.

The ripoff items were impersonating Yeti products, Life Proof and Otter Box phone cases, Ray Ban sunglasses, Beats by Dre, Apple and Bose headphones, and purses by Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Coach, MCM and Tony Burch.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says the investigation stretched from Mississippi to Washington state, and it’s possible some of the goods ended up in Memphis.

Evidence photos show a massive counterfeit operation involving some of the country’s most well-known brands, including belts, purses, cellphone cases, Yeti cups and backpacks bearing the names of Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and Tory Burch among others.

“Everything from dog medication to textile goods, handbags, fake silver coins, you name it it was there,” said Hood. “When you buy these things they fall apart, you’re not even really getting goods worth paying for."

Hood says consumers should understand when they pay for fake items their money is funding a criminal enterprise and is almost always sent out of the country.

Investigators said mostly of these items came from China.

“You’re helping out drug cartels or terrorist organizations when you buy these counterfeit, fake goods,” said Hood.

In addition to his sentencing, Haynie must pay $152,930 in federal restitution for Louis Vuitton products and $167,295 for Michael Kors products.

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