That Power Bracelet you bought at a Garden State Plaza Mall kiosk for 30 bucks might actually be worth a nickel — no, not because the whole premise of its “power” is questionable but because knockoffs of the genuine article were being sold by a woman who seemed none too pleased to have her mugshot taken, Bergen County’s prosecutor said this afternoon.
Claudia M. Lozon
Investigators gathered up 1,000 bogus bracelets at two mall kiosks owned by Claudia M. Lozon, 46, and another 1,000 when they put their own sets of bracelets on her at her Rockland County home.
She’s being held in the county lockup there until she can be extradited to Bergen to face counterfeiting charges, Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.
Investigators from the Molinelli’s White Collar Crime Unit got a call from the folks at the Power Balance Bracelet Company of Laguna Niguel, California, who said their company investigators bought several knockoffs at the mall nearly three weeks ago.
The distributors of Power Balance bracelets say they work by “optimizing the body’s natural energy flow through a hologram,” something that can’t be scientifically proven — similar in some ways to the magnet bracelets of years past.
But commerce is commerce, and there are laws about these kinds of things no matter what you‘re selling — even snake oil.
“The counterfeit bracelets did not contain their patented Power Balance Performance Hologram technology and were purchased from China for less than five cents each,” Molinelli explained.
The prosecutor said his detectives watched the two kiosks and saw the operators “performing power balance demonstrations on unsuspecting customers.”
“These were the same Power Balance demonstrations that are depicted on the legitimate Power Balance website located at powerbalance.com using various sports celebrities,” he said. These include Drew Brees, Shane Victorino, Shaquille O’Neal, and Lamar Odom.
Investigators bought several bogus bracelets themselves, then sent an arrest warrant to their counterparts in Ramapo, who picked up Lozon at her Wesley Hills home.
The Bergen squad then got a search warrant and hit the kiosks on Tuesday.
“The sale of these counterfeit bracelets represents a loss in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Power Balance Company,” Molinelli said. “The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming.”
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