$100 Bills Only Cause Trouble

Maureen O'Connor · 02/24/12 03:58PM

High-quality counterfeits of American $100 and $50 are keeping North Korea's economy afloat, The End of Money author David Wolman reports in Time. Estimates on Pyongyang's black market counterfeiting profits range from $15 to $25 million "to several hundred million dollars' worth" every year.

Feds Celebrate Cyber Monday With Massive Domain Name Seizure

Lauri Apple · 11/26/11 01:49PM

Bad news: The federal government has once again made it harder to find the best online shopping spots for all your counterfeit sports jersey and fake Louis Vuitton bag holiday shopping needs. Why? Because they want your family's holiday gift-giving experience to be authentic.

Petty Hot Dog Thief to Spend 80 Years in Prison

Lauri Apple · 11/20/11 06:32PM

Back in 2009, Charles Cleveland Nowden was busted at a Fort Worth movie theater for trying to purchase a lethal junk-food combo meal—two hot dogs, two cokes, and popcorn—with a counterfeit $20. This week, he received an 80-year prison sentence. Fort Worth's snack community is safe again!

New $100 Bill Embarrassingly Colorful

Hamilton Nolan · 04/21/10 11:37AM

The Federal Reserve is rolling out new $100 bills. Pity. We quite liked the current design: clean, uncluttered, bold, and crisp on the fingertips (or so we hear). Now it looks like a god damn child's crayon scratch pad.

NYC's Homeless Denied Canal Street's Finest

cityfile · 01/13/10 01:14PM

H&M took some heat last week after it was revealed that one of the company's stores in Midtown regularly destroyed its unsold merchandise rather than give the items to charity. The Swedish retailer revised its policy the next day, but now it's the mayor's turn on the hot seat. It seems the NYPD has been incinerating or shredding the counterfeit clothing that it's seized over the past year, thus "abandoning a practice of giving knockoff garments to groups that help the needy." [NYT]

Your Holiday Shopping Just Got Pricier

cityfile · 12/08/09 01:31PM

If, like any devoted son or daughter, you were planning to buy your mom a fake Louis Vuitton bag for Christmas and pass it off as the real thing, you may now need to make other arrangements. The NYPD staged a raid on counterfeiters on Canal Street earlier today and shut down 30 storefronts that were selling fake bags, watches, and wallets, and perfume. [WABC, NBC]

The Latest Threat to Goldman's Brand

cityfile · 08/13/09 08:59AM

It's been a bruising few weeks for Goldman Sachs what with the tough questions about the role the firm played in the mortgage meltdown and subsequent bailout, and any special treatment it may have received from Washington officials like former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. But it looks like the firm's lawyers now have one more headache to deal with: the dude in Thailand who is selling unauthorized (and terribly chintzy) Goldman-branded "keychain watches" on Ebay for $9.95 a pop. "Makes a great gift for someone," reads the ad. It doesn't specify who this "someone" is. But if you're looking to give a friend at the firm a way to count down the minutes until his gigantic bonus shows up in his checking account, you probably should make a move before Goldman's lawyers do. [Ebay]

Kelly on the TV, Project Runway Needs You

cityfile · 04/15/09 07:24PM

Kelly Cutrone's forthcoming reality show has a name: Kell on Earth will be a "no-holds-barred look into the life of one of America's most legitimate tastemakers," according to Bravo. [Fashionista]
Project Runway is looking for contestants for the show's seventh season. Unfortunately if you make the cut, you'll be appearing on Lifetime. [NYM]
• Emma Watson is the new face of Burberry. [SW]
• What's Arden Wohl up to? Posing for a lookbook, for one thing. [Nylon]
• Eccentric fashion on NYC social scene: the hits and misses. [WWD]
• A woman who sold four fake Birkin bags has been fined $7.5 million. It went down in Taiwan, though, so the ladies of Canal Street are safe for now. [NYM]

Your Fake Purse Will Make You Cheat and Lie

cityfile · 03/17/09 08:10AM

When you see an article about the "moral costs" of counterfeiting luxury goods, you probably expect to read upsetting details about ten-year-olds in sweatshops working 18-hour days. But Harper's Bazaar has to keep its advertisers happy, which explains why the mag held an "anti-counterfeiting summit" this week, and explored the idea that Schenectady soccer moms might somehow be less likely to drop $50 on a replica Kate Spade purse if they thought it might disturb their own proud moral compass. The event featured a talk by Professor Dan Ariely of MIT and Duke, who presented a report called "Faking It: The Psychology of Dishonesty and Counterfeits," which explains how the mere act of wearing a fake makes you a bad person who will do bad things.

Coach Brand Teaches Students How To Be Dirty Shills

Hamilton Nolan · 05/05/08 03:12PM

Hunter College, the luxury brand Coach, fraudulent PR campaigns, and dishonest corporate collaboration with academia are the topics of the day today. Important topics! Adweek has just come out with a long investigative piece on a Coach-sponsored PR class at Hunter, which reeks of impropriety and dishonesty, and ended up tangling a bunch of college kids up in a fake online PR blog that makes them all look like a bunch of shady, dishonest undercover marketing hacks. "I knew a lot of hell would break loose about the class. And it did," said the teacher. Indeed. The condensed version of the whole sordid tale, after the jump.