Couple accused of selling counterfeit designer phone cases at Austin flea market

Austin
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AUSTIN (KXAN) – In early June, police say a married couple sold counterfeit OtterBox and Michael Kors phone cases at their booth at Austin Country Flea Market, according to an affidavit filed in court.

The operation 42-year-old Jose Avelino Beserril-Serrano and 40-year-old Luz Duarte are accused of running was discovered during an undercover operation by Austin Police Department’s Cyber Crime Unit with assistance from a counterfeit merchandise expert, police say.

Both Beserril-Serrano and Duarte are charged with trademark counterfeiting, a third-degree felony and each face a $20,000 bond. Neither Beserril-Serrano or Duarte are in custody, according to jail records.

On June 9, APD’s CCU undercover operation, along with former Forth Worth Police officer Joel Voyles, an expert in counterfeit merchandise, approached their booth at Austin Country Flea Market, located at 9500 State Highway 290, an affidavit says.

While undercover, police say one of the officers bought a counterfeit OtterBox case from Duarte for $30. After the officer bought the case, Voyles looked at the case and confirmed it was counterfeit.

Afterward, the officers stayed near the booth, watching numerous transactions take place as both Duarte and Beserril-Serrano sold counterfeit Michael Kors and OtterBox cases, police say.

Voyles later confirmed in a statement that both the Michael Kors and OtterBox cases being sold from booth 335 were counterfeit.

“The quality of the phone cases/covers (was) not consistent with the trademark manufacturer,” Voyles said in the affidavit.

The trademarks, packaging and labeling of the counterfeit products found in the booth were “substantially indistinguishable” and “confusingly similar” to the true trademark manufacturer of both Michael Kors and OtterBox, according to Voyles.

Beserril-Serrano “left the scene and refused to return,” according to an affidavit. When officials confronted Duarte in the booth while she was alone, she was fully cooperative with them and fully identified herself, police say.

After Duarte signed a Consent to Search of her booth, officials found a total of 1,011 Michael Kors and OtterBox phones cases and all were identified by Voyles as counterfeit, police say.

Each phone case was sold for $30 each and the total for the estimated seller retail price of the counterfeit products was $30,330, according to Duarte.

APD has attempted to reach out to Beserril-Serrano and Duarte to interview them about their booth and the merchandise, but they have yet to return any of their calls, police say.

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