LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A collection of fake NBA championship rings that, if real, would have been worth $560,000 were seized by Customs and Border Protection officers at LAX, officials said Tuesday.
The 28 rings were found as officers examined a shipment to Arizona arriving from China. The rings were found in a wooden ring box, apparently to be sold as a collection.
Specialists confirmed the designs and word marks were in violation of protected trademarks of NBA teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The ring designs appear to resemble logo designs of championship rings that are easily available online, but do not include any player names or the phrase “World Champions.”
“Scammers take advantage of collectors and pro-basketball fans desiring to obtain a piece of sports history,” the agency’s director of field operations, Carlos C. Martel, said in a statement.
Legitimate NBA championship rings range in price from $10,000 and $40,000. In some cases, prices for such rings can soar over $200,000.
According to Customs and Border Patrol, counterfeit watches and jewelry are top products smugglers try to get past the, representing 44 percent of its seizures and valuing over $618 million.