The owners of a Miami jewelry store were arrested for selling counterfeit luxury items, police said.
Jimmy Hernandez, 40, and his mother, Tania Verona, 57, the co-owners of Lord of the Rings Jewelry at 6230 SW Eighth St., were each booked on charges of selling counterfeit items more than $20,000.
Detectives were tipped off to the counterfeit items and found them displayed inside the store. According to the police report, the counterfeit jewelry was being sold for one-tenth of the normal retail value.
The normal retail value of the jewelry exceeds $31 million. Police said the items appeared to be identical to the authentic products to the ordinary person.
"You're taking away from the owners of these companies who have taken the time to trademark these properties," Detective Michael Hufnagel Jr. said.
Inside the store, detectives found counterfeit items of the following brands:
- Louis Vuitton
- Van Cleef & Arpels
- Michael Kors
- Yves Saint Laurent
- Christian Dior
- Ray Ban
"They were trying to give a defense of it's an inspired property," Hufnagel said. "It's not inspired if it's word-marked."
Detectives said consumers should be vigilant when purchasing designer items from third-party vendors, and said that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
"Be cognizant of your value," Hufnagel said. "If you are looking for a $5,000 Chanel bracelet and they are selling it for $25 dollars, it very overwhelming should be known that it's not real."