Two brothers accused of running a major ring selling counterfeit health and beauty products were each arraigned on a four-count indictment Thursday as investigators continued probing whether any consumers were harmed by the fake goods, the Nassau district attorney's office said.
Hamant Mullick, 60, of Franklin Square, pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree trademark counterfeiting and bail was set at $100,000. Pardeep Malik, 59, of Plainview, pleaded not guilty on two counts of first-degree trademark counterfeiting and two counts of second-degree trademark counterfeiting. His bail was set at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash.
The pair manufactured products with names of major labels, including ChapStick, Always sanitary pads and Johnson's Baby Oil, and had showrooms in five locations in Nassau, prosecutors said. They sold the fakes to distributors, and after an investigation by federal and local agencies, authorities busted the ring March 6, removing $2 million worth of counterfeit products in four tractor-trailer trucks, according to District Attorney Kathleen Rice.
Prosecutors said authorities are trying to determine where the over-the-counter painkillers and cold medicine were manufactured because no medicine-making equipment were found in the brothers' showrooms.
The ring was discovered after a fire broke out April 2013 at the brothers' Valley Stream showroom, Rice's office said. Prosecutors said Valley Stream fire officials were conducting a follow-up to the fire probe in January when they stumbled upon the operation and notified the Nassau County fire marshal's office, which obtained counterfeit samples during a visit and notified authorities.
CORRECTION: An initial version of this story incorrectly reported the recipients of the fake merchandise.