NEWARK - Two brothers from Atlantic County were arrested today for their alleged participation in a multi-year conspiracy to traffic counterfeit NBA and NFL jerseys.
Brett Strothers, 32, of Egg Harbor Township and Evan Strothers, 28, of Mays Landing were arrested at their homes and are scheduled to appear in federal court today.
Four men were involved in the alleged conspiracy based on a complaint received by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations.
The complaint states that from 2010 to 2012 the Strothers, who operated football and basketball tossing games on the Wildwood and North Wildwood boardwalks, gave customers the chance to win an "authentic" NBA or NFL jersey by scoring a hoop or tossing a football through a target.
The jerseys were purchased from Haresh Aildasani, 27, an Indian citizen living in China (People's Republic of China) and shipped to the brothers by Joseph Cuozzo, 44, a U.S. citizen living in Thailand.
The complaint alleges that Aildasani manufactured the counterfeit jerseys in China and sold them to numerous customers.
The Strothers were among the customers who bought at least 16,700 counterfeit jerseys between 2010 and 2012, the complaint states. The suggested retail price for the authentic versions is about $4 million, the complaint said.
The charge of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit merchandise carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $2 million, or twice the gross amount of gain or loss sustained by any victim.
The brothers are scheduled to appear in court at 2 p.m. today.