Cecilia DowdApr 26, 2018, 12:48 pmApr 26, 2018, 7:03 pm

Counterfeit criminal case in Nassau results in jobs for those who are differently abled

People with disabilities are tasked to cover fake name brands on jackets that will be given to others in need


WESTBURY — It can be difficult for people who are physically challenged to find a job. But now one criminal case has led to employment for those in need.

Eleven thousand counterfeit jackets will now be going to various local charities. By law, it used to be that the counterfeit jackets had to be destroyed.

“Now we can apply to a judge and say ‘wait a minute, these are jackets that people need,’” says Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

The only problem, a problem in this case that has become a solution of sorts, is that the clothes’ fake brand name labels can't stay. And so the Nassau District Attorney's Office partnered with Tri, The Rehabilitation Institute and Spectrum Designs to give jobs to those who are differently abled.

“Typically, when your phone rings and it’s the assistant D.A. calling, it's generally not a good thing, but this was a home run,” says Andrew Cohen of Tri.

“This is a really incredible story and an incredible end to a prosecution. We were able to seize counterfeit jackets, hold a person accountable for the trademark infringement and the counterfeit goods, and then we were able to take those jackets and make sure they get to people who need them,” Singas says.

Josh Mirsky, a Spectrum employee who will be doing embroidery to camouflage fake labels says he feels that he's doing something right.

“I am on the spectrum, so I personally find that I constantly need to be somewhat like a perfectionist, because [you] know when you're growing up and school classmates are like ‘oh, you can't do this, you can't do that,’ it gives you a sense that you want to prove yourself to be not just equal, but better than them,” Mirsky says.

The jackets are not the only items that were forfeited. Embroidery machines in which the jackets’ fake logos will be covered up were also forfeited.

The district attorney says her office works with the victim, the company whose products the fake jackets were modeled on. The victim in this case didn't want to be identified.

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