Plainview boutique owner sold counterfeit items worth more than $40 million


The Nassau Police Department arrested the owner of a Plainview store on Tuesday and seized more than $40 million worth of clothing in what authorities called the largest counterfeit clothing bust they have ever seen.

Detectives say they discovered an entire operation in the basement of Linny’s Boutique, where garments were stamped with luxurious names. The items were fake, police say, and were sold online and in-store by Smithtown owner Lindsay Castelli.

The store contained thousands of counterfeit Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada and Dior items that were pressed. Police also say they found 22 heat press machines.

“A simple $10 sweatshirt — you put the Chanel brand on it, it sells for $5,300,” said Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “They would take a $3 hat… and sell… [it] for $300.”

After receiving tips from sources, the police conducted an 18-month investigation involving surveillance and undercover purchases at the store. Police say further investigation revealed the items were also sold on a website that operated them and shipped to consumers.

Castelli surrendered himself to Nassau County Asset Forfeiture Detectives on October 7.

Castelli was accused of falsifying trademarks. She is due to appear in court again on November 2. If convicted, she could face up to four years in prison.

News 12 went to Castelli’s house for comment, but received no response. Her neighbors also had no comments.

Carole Rutkovsky, of Plainview, says she bought some stuff from the store and feels “completely betrayed.”

Bonnie Furman, of Melville, says she paid $50 for a Chanel sweatshirt from the store and felt it was fake.

“It was never the kind of thing I thought was real. But it said Chanel… I never thought it was great quality,” she said.

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