Could That Purse Land You in Jail?

Rethink buying that knockoffs on NYC's Canal Street.! A new bill comes with prison time.

Posted: 04/28/2011 04:31 PM EDT

Talk about the fashion police. If New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin has her way, people who purchase fake designer products could face a year in jail or have to pony up $1,000—a fee that’s not too far off from the original retail price of some designer bags!

 

Chin is proposing a bill that will criminalize the purchase of counterfeit designer goods, including handbags and watches. She’s reportedly fed up with tourists who flock to her Big Apple district Chinatown in search of the cheap imitations, which she said can violate child labor laws during production.

 

"I urge visitors who come to New York to come for the authenticity, not to buy these fake bags or electronics," Chin said. "We have local designers that create unique items at affordable prices, and they're available. So don't just come here for the knockoffs."

 

It’s already illegal to sell fake designer goods, but if Chin can get her bill passed, NYC will become the first U.S. City to criminalize their purchases. Chin formally introduced her bill on April 27 and it will need the backing of a Council committee before going to the full 51-member Council for a vote.

 

What's your take on the proposed bill? Vote now in our poll.

(Photo: CLARO CORTES IV/Reuters/Landov)

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