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United States federal government said it had seized enough counterfeit Gucci bags, Hermes belts and Tory Burch purses to fill 22 shipping containers, in a six-year investigation into the importation and sale of fake luxury goods with charges filed against 33 people. The individuals were charged with conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit goods and trademark counterfeiting.

The goods were part of a scheme originating in China that stretched to warehouses in Queens and even to retailers in Illinois and California, officials from Homeland Security Investigations, a branch of the United States Customs and Immigration Enforcement agency, announced at a news conference in New York.

Authorities estimated that the loss in retail value to the United States was nearly a half-billion dollars.

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