City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Friday that his office secured more than $1 million in civil penalties and a 10-year injunction against a married couple accused of selling counterfeit detergent and soap and their alleged supplier.

The court ruled that Nancy Flores and her husband Marvin Santiago Caceres committed 4,910 violations of the Unfair Competition Law by selling counterfeit Procter & Gamble laundry detergent and dish soap labeled falsely as Tide, Gain, Downy and Dawn in Los Angeles and six other Southern California cities.

In May, acting on information obtained during an undercover operation, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant at the home of the couple and recovered 23 counterfeit buckets of detergent, according to Feuer’s office.

A second search warrant at supplier Fernando Andrade’s home led to the discovery of 2,557 phony Tide, Gain and Downy labels, as well as a CD/DVD pirating operation and over 2,250 CDs and DVDs at Andrade’s home, Feuer alleged.

“Whether it’s counterfeit laundry detergent sold online or allegedly phony and potentially deadly pharmaceuticals dispensed from a Pacoima storefront, our office will continue cracking down on counterfeit goods,” Feuer said. “Counterfeits rip off consumers, hurt legitimate businesses, negatively impact our local economy and can jeopardize public health and safety. We thank the L.A. (County) Sheriff’s Department for its partnership on this vital consumer protection work.”

The injunction prohibits the three defendants from possessing or selling counterfeit goods or being employed by any business in the state of California related to the sale, storage or possession of detergent and CDs or DVDs.

“We’re grateful for the partnership with authorities who share our common goal to ensure consumers get the quality, safety and value they expect, while stopping crime in its tracks,” said Anne Candido of Proctor & Gamble. “Simply put, counterfeits cheat consumers, put consumer health safety at risk and are bad for businesses big and small.”

–City News Service

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