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Falling for that "New Corporate Math"

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, August 26, 2005, at 06:56PM

Now that I've praised them for their wayfinding stance, I have to chide the Downtown News for succumbing to RIAA math (even though in this case we're talking fashion). The news brief "Police Raids Net Millions In Illegal Merchandise" says that

On Aug. 20, police raided a warehouse in the 700 block of Sanford Avenue and found 120,000 counterfeit action figures worth about $500,000. The loot included Batman, Superman and Spiderman toys, mostly imported from China. That followed an Aug. 18 raid in which police seized an estimated $18 million worth of counterfeit and stolen merchandise from a Fashion District showroom in the 1100 block of Los Angeles Street.

Here's what the LA Times said in their August 20th story on the raid, which I linked to earlier:

This week, in what they say is their largest raid to date, police raided one store on South Los Angeles Street near 11th Street and seized counterfeit handbags, glasses, belts and other accessories. If the merchandise had been real, authorities said, it would be worth about $18 million.

That "if [it] had been real" part is pretty key. The merchandise would obviously have been sold in the alley for pennies on the dollar of what the real thing would run. So the sale value of the netted merch would likely be more on the order of a couple hundred grand. Not a bad day, but nowhere near the inflated $18 million number.

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