Store owner pleads not guilty to fraudulent sales charges

Salvatore Argo

DOVER — A 42-year-old business owner entered not guilty pleas Tuesday regarding the alleged counterfeit sales of sports merchandise during the holiday season, according to court documents.

Accompanied by an attorney, Salvatore Argo, of Mountaintop, Pennsylvania, turned himself in to Dover Police around noon, to face charges stemming from investigation of supposedly fraudulent sales at two stores in the Dover Mall in December, authorities said.

Mr. Salvatore, who is facing 16 trademark-related charges, was given a $16,000 unsecured bond when presented to Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach. A preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 12.

On Dec. 19, 2017, approximately eight to 10 police officers, both uniformed and in plainclothes, executed search warrants at Christmas Treasures and Sports Fever locations in the mall, confiscating jerseys, hats and sweatshirts deemed illegal by a court-certified counterfeit identification expert from Maryland, according to charging documents.

Police were told by mall officials that Mr. Argo had leased the Christmas Treasures location for the holiday season. A lease also was in place for Sports Fever, according to documents.

Police conducted an undercover investigation before obtaining search warrants, authorities said.

After the warrant, Dover Police released a list of seized items that were allegedly fraudulent, including:

• 311 NFL counterfeit jerseys

• 87 MLB counterfeit jerseys

• 93 NBA counterfeit jerseys

• 15 NCAA counterfeit jerseys

• 9 MLB counterfeit T-shirts

• 42 NFL counterfeit T-Shirts

• 77 NFL counterfeit sweatshirts

• 7 MLB counterfeit sweatshirts

• 9 NBA counterfeit sweatshirts

• 1 NHL counterfeit sweatshirt

• 347 counterfeit New Era hats

• 29 counterfeit Mitchell and Ness hats

• 20 counterfeit 47 Brand hats

• 8 counterfeit Adidas hats

• 13 counterfeit Nike hats

• 10 counterfeit Reebok hats

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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