A sportswear business previously located in the Northwoods Mall was raided last month by federal authorities investigating the sale of counterfeit clothing.
The Charleston office of Homeland Security Investigations executed a federal search warrant Dec. 14 at Game Over Sports as part of an investigation into allegations that the store owner was selling counterfeit sports jerseys, according to federal filings. on January 10 in US District Court.
A variety of jerseys seized from the company were found to be fake, records show.
No criminal charges have been filed.
Assistant US Attorney Derek Shoemake said he could not comment, saying only, “The documents speak for themselves.”
Lanard “Larry” Smith, the owner of the company, said in a Jan. 12 interview that he had no idea the sports jerseys were counterfeit.
“The person I was ordering stuff from, they said it was all legit. I had no idea until they walked into the store,” Smith said.
Smith and his brother, Raynard Smith, had previously been convicted of trafficking in counterfeit clothing in 2008. Both men were sentenced to three years probation.
A Northwoods Mall operator said Game Over Sports closed on December 16.
The SC Secretary of State’s office first alerted HSI in August that the company was suspected of selling counterfeit products, according to a federal asset seizure warrant application.
A federal cargo tracking database showed four dozen garment shipments arrived at the company earlier in the year. The cargo came from countries like Japan, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.
A similar international shipment addressed to Raynard Smith and another man was also shipped to a Summerville apartment from June 2019 to May, records show.
At least seven of the international shippers have been associated with intellectual property rights violations, records show.
An employee of the Secretary of State’s office purchased suspected counterfeit apparel, including a Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers basketball jersey allegedly made by Nike, from the store on September 28.
An investigator from a private intellectual property rights firm inspected the basketball jersey, purchased for $150, and determined it was a counterfeit, records show.
Investigators determined that other shirts seized in the Dec. 14 raid were also counterfeit, records show.
In addition to the jerseys, federal authorities seized more than $100,000 from the company’s bank accounts, records show.
Lanard Smith said Jan. 12 that he plans to retain an attorney.
To reach Steve Garrison at 843-607-1052. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT.