Fake NFL, MLB, NBA Championship Rings Found in Shipment From China

Over 200 fake NFL, NBA and MLB championship rings were recently found in a shipment from China and seized by border officials.

According to a press release from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the seizure occurred on March 3 when border officers assigned to the Express Consignment Operations hub in Louisville, Kentucky, noticed a package arriving from China.

CBP officers inspected the parcel "to determine the admissibility of the merchandise and found various rings bearing the names and logos of professional sports teams," the press release said.

During the inspection, a CBP "Import Specialist" was able to determine that the championship rings were in violation of intellectual and property rights as well as trademark rights, indicating that the import of these rings was illegal.

According to the press release, the shipment was sent from China to a residence in Wesley Chapel, Florida.

CBP said that the package contained 10 Milwaukee Bucks NBA championship rings, 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl rings, 80 Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rings and 110 Atlanta Braves World Series rings. If the rings were real, the shipment would have had a manufacturer's suggested retail price of around $345,000, CBP said.

CBP Louisville Port Director Thomas Mahn said the recent seizure is "just another example of the work our officers do to protect consumers and the U.S. economy."

"As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third-party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise," Mahn added.

LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, director of field operations in Chicago, Illinois, made similar comments in the press release: "Counterfeit jewelry continues to flood the e-commerce market and these rings were focused on a select group of sports collectors and their fans."

Newsweek was directed to the press release after reaching out to CBP for further comment.

This is not the first time fake sports championship rings have been seized by border officials.

In a January press release, CBP said that officers in Cincinnati, Ohio, intercepted 56 different shipments containing fake championship rings over a three-month period.

"A total of 1,382 rings and trophies were seized. Officers suspected these rings to be counterfeit based on their origin and appearance," CBP said in the January press release. "The cheaply made rings, which lack detail and quality, included Boston Red Sox World Series, LA Dodgers, Milwaukee Bucks, University of Kentucky Championship, and NASCAR Championship rings to name a few."

According to data from CBP, on a "typical day" in 2021, border officials seized "$9 million worth of products with intellectual property rights violations."

Customs and Border Protection
More than 200 fake NBA, MLB and NFL championship rings were recently seized by border officials in Louisville, Kentucky. Above, counterfeit championship rings seized by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are displayed at a press conference at the Air Freight Federal Inspection Facility near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on February 4, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. Mario Tama/Getty