Johnston man charged with selling counterfeit merchandise

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A Johnston man accused of selling fake merchandise has been charged by the Rhode Island State Police.

According to State Police, Richard Rufo is accused of trying to sell fake sports memorabilia.

“Clearly appears to be counterfeit, it’s not properly labeled,” Lt. William Accardi of the State Police said.

Rufo, 47, was first arrested by Mansfield police last week after he was allegedly selling merchandise at a sports card and memorabilia event.

“We believe he’s been doing this for years,” Accardi said. “We were able to find some receipts dating back to, I believe, 2012.”

Richard Rufo
Richard Rufo

State Police told Eyewitness News they found nearly 1,200 counterfeit items in a warehouse in Smithfield – totaling an estimated $112,000.

“The warehouse was about 4,800 square feet and it was filled with numerous items that were counterfeit,” Accardi said. “From UGG boots to NorthFace to professional sports leagues counterfeit merchandise.”

Rufo is charged with forgery, counterfeiting, and altered trademark violations – a felony charge.

He has already been arraigned and was released on bail.

“Be careful what you purchase,” Accardi said. “Just because the label says a certain product, more than likely if you’re buying it in a place that’s not licensed to sell that product, more than likely, it’s counterfeit.”

If Rufo is found guilty, he could face five years in prison and be fined up to $10,000.

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