Woman gets $25,000 fine for selling fake goods

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge spared a Wichita businesswoman from prison on Monday, but imposed a $25,000 fine for selling fake luxury goods.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren sentenced Glenda Sue Morgan to five years of probation and ordered her to make payments of not less than $500 a month toward the fine. She pleaded guilty in October to one count of trafficking in goods bearing counterfeit designer labels, such as Prada and Chanel, at her shop, called The Fabulous Store.

Morgan, 55, tearfully apologized to the court before she was sentenced.

The judge said he was “deeply troubled” by the fact Morgan apparently didn’t learn from a prior encounter with law enforcement over the sale of counterfeit merchandise.

“For most people, that would scare the daylights out of them,” Melgren said.

Federal agents first went to Morgan’s Andover home in January 2011 and informed her of federal laws prohibiting the sale of counterfeit merchandise. Agents seized nearly 2,600 items that would have been valued at about $1.5 million had they been authentic. Morgan agreed to abandon the seized items and was not charged.

Melgren called that a “free pass” that should have had a dramatic impact in dissuading her from repeating the crime. But two years later, investigators seized another 400 replica items with a retail value of $14,000 from her shop — worth about $140,000 had they been authentic.

Her attorney, Sylvia Penner, told the court there was no question her client exercised very poor judgment: “She gets it now, your honor.”

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