2 Italian men charged
in Versace jacket scam

Two Italian men were charged with trademark violations yesterday for allegedly selling fake Versace leather jackets.

Dario Amato, 46, also known as Amato Dario, and Pasquale Chirichella, 41, were being held at the Maui Police Department's Kahului station in lieu of $10,000 bail each last night.

The men are each charged with two counts of trademark counterfeiting, a class "C" felony.

Honolulu police estimate there may be between five and 12 people selling fake leather jackets statewide and more than 50 people on Oahu and Maui who have been victimized.

Victims were approached in store parking lots and told that the sellers had leather Versace jackets worth between $1,000 and $3,000 and were willing to sell them at drastically reduced prices. Police said the suspects told victims they were in Hawaii for a clothing trade show and were selling the jackets to avoid paying duty tax upon their return to Italy.

Maui police arrested Amato and Chirichella on Sunday morning at Kahului Airport. The two had been scheduled to depart for California, police said.

Police said the suspects produced Italian passports and authentic-looking business cards that gave the Versace Web site.

Honolulu police said the scam is not new and that similar schemes have occurred worldwide over the past five years.


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