Fake NFL merchandise covers a table as the National Football League and law enforcement agencies announce the latest results of seizures of counterfeit game-related merchandise and tickets during a press conference at the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

More than $24 million in fake NFL merchandise seized in past year

More than $24 million worth of counterfeit NFL tickets and merchandise have been seized in the year since the last Super Bowl, in Minneapolis, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday.

The figure tops the $15.69 million of counterfeit goods that were found in the previous year.

In a Thursday announcement, Nick Annan, the Atlanta Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security, said discount malls, pop-up sellers and others that have been peddling the counterfeit goods had been identified, and more than 285,000 items had been seized in the last year. NFL attorneys said the practice of selling counterfeit goods hurts legitimate retailers and fans who get fake goods.

“Protecting our fans continues to be our top priority,” said Dolores DiBella, the NFL’s vice president of legal affairs.

Representatives of U.S. Customs and Border Control, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the FBI and the Atlanta Police Department also participated in the press conference.

“We’re sure there’s some nervous people out in the flea markets,” said Richard Mason, a major with APD.

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