Two Long Island brothers have been indicted for allegedly running a more than $2 million counterfeiting ring that manufactured and sold knock-off baby oil, sanitary pads and cold medicine, authorities said.
Pardeep Malik, 59, of Plainview, and 60-year-old Hamant Mullick of Franklin Square pleaded not guilty this week at Nassau County court to upgraded charges of trademark counterfeiting following their initial arrest earlier this month.
Prosecutors said authorities—including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents—raided five storage and showroom facilities in Franklin Square, Oceanside, Freeport and Valley Stream, where they seized four tractor-trailer trucks full of counterfeit ChapStick, Johnson’s Baby Oil, Vicks VapoRub, Vicks Inhaler, Vaseline and Always sanitary pads, among other products.
Valley Stream firefighters uncovered the alleged schemed when responding to a fire at one of the locations last year. They reported the discovery to Nassau County Fire Marshals, which sent samples of the products to Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Procter and Gamble and Unilever to verify the counterfeiting, authorities said.
The products, which the suspects allegedly sold to distributors, have reportedly turned up at small, independent retailers in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida—and investigators said the scheme may be even larger.
Experts are testing the seized counterfeit products to determine their safety and quality to check potential health risks associated with their ingredients and possibly unsanitary manufacturing process.
Anyone who suspects they may have bought some of the fake products in Nassau County can call the district attorney’s Criminal Complaint Unit at 516-571-3505.
Judge William Donnino set bail for Mullick at $100,000 cash or bond and Milk’s bail at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond. Both men face up to 15 years in prison. They are due back in court April 4.