New York considers crackdown on counterfeit luxury

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By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — It's one of the worst kept secrets in New York.

Hidden around the city are counterfeit goods labeled "Prada" or "Louis Vuitton" or some other luxury brand. They're sold for a pittance to bargain hunters from around the world who flock to Chinatown.

Now, if a proposed bill passes the City Council, customers caught buying these items could be punished — with a fine of up to $1,000, or even prison time.

A City Hall public hearing is scheduled for Thursday to examine the black-market business.

The bill sponsor is Council member Margaret Chin. She expects a vote sometime in the coming months.

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