Worth Ave. jewelry store owner arrested, $2 million in counterfeit goods seized: PBPD – WPEC

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A business owner is accused of selling counterfeit designer items worth over $1 million at her clothing and jewelry stores.

Just a few stores down from Chanel, Tiffany, and Bottega Veneta, a small boutique on Worth Avenue, called Blesk Jewelry, was selling discounted versions of those high-end products. But while customers may have thought they were getting a deal, police say they were getting ripped off.

“For instance, you know, some of the Pucci dresses which would retail for around $2200 were being sold for around $400 something dollars,” Captain Will Rothrock with the Palm Beach Police Department said. “Some of the Van Cleef and Arpels items, you know, those might have retailed for $20,000 and she sold them for $500.”

According to the Palm Beach Police Department Olena Austin, 51, was booked on counts of selling or offering for sale counterfeit goods or services for more than $20,000.

The investigation into her business began on October 31, 2023, after the Palm Beach Police Department’s Organized Crime, Vice and Narcotics Unit received information from the FBI about counterfeit items being sold from her store ‘Blesk Jewelry.’

“It was somewhat surprising because we have a very good reputation from the business community here on Worth Avenue and the International shopping community,” Rothrock said.

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According to the arrest affidavit against Austin, ‘Blesk Jewelry’ has two locations in Palm Beach at 350 S County Road, Suite 103, and 313 Worth Ave, Suite B.

On Thursday evening a search warrant was issued at both of her businesses where officers seized approximately 800 items that had a fraudulent retail value of over $2 million. Police say she was selling counterfeit designer items from Chanel, Rolex, Pucci, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tiffany and Bottega Veneta.

“The amount of volume that maybe was not out visible to a shopper that was kept in the back, you know, that was maybe advertised if someone was a repeat shopper or someone that they vetted and felt more comfortable selling to,” Rothrock said. “It went deeper than it looked on the surface and that was the most surprising portion.”

“That’s absolutely shocking. I think so many people work so hard for their money all the time just to get ripped off, it’s just really upsetting,” a Palm Beach County resident told CBS12 News. “Like this is quite sad and I just don’t think it’s fair to everyone.”

Authorities are urging individuals who have purchased from Blesk Jewelry in the past, particularly if they have doubts about the authenticity of their items, to reach out.

Palm Beach County Jail records state Austin was released Friday on a $50,000 bond.

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