NYC debates crackdown on counterfeit luxury goods

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal to buy a fake Rolex watch or Prada handbag from a street vendor.

A City Council hearing has started on the legislation. If it passes, buyers of counterfeit goods could be jailed for up to one year or fined $1,000.

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said Thursday that a year in jail “seems a little tough” for buying fake goods. He says buying a counterfeit item should be a violation, not a misdemeanor.

But Councilwoman Margaret Chin says nothing done so far has worked to curb the selling of fakes.

Chin is the sponsor of the bill. Her district includes Manhattan’s Chinatown, where many of the vendors of counterfeits are based.

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