NYC proposing law to punish buyers of counterfeit goods

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NEW YORK (PIX11) – Legislators are looking into a bill that would condemn–and heavily discourage–customers from purchasing counterfeit products from street vendors, according to an AP report.

Lawmakers cracking down on the issue proposed a law on Thursday in a public hearing that would punish buyers of fake goods a fine of up $1,000 or up to a year in prison.

City Council member Margaret Chin of Lower Manhattan introduced the bill and said the phony items snatch away $1 billion worth of tax revenue that could be better allocated to community programs. Chin also oversees Chinatown, which is notorious for the abundant amount of counterfeit selling.

Since sellers usually flee from police as they go to confiscate their goods, Chin hopes targeting customers would be a more efficient answer to the counterfeit problem.

“Hopefully, this law will cut down on demand,” Chin said. Aside from law enforcement action, she says city officials would form a campaign highlighting the offenses of buying to the public and tourism companies, giving out flyers and posting signs.

She expects a vote on the bill in the upcoming months.

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