Charlie Riedel/AP file photoWorld Series fans were targets of counterfeit Fall Classic tickets and merchandise in Kansas City on Tuesday.

Phony World Series tickets, merchandise seized

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bogus World Series tickets worth tens of thousands of dollars, as well as counterfeit panties and other merchandise have been seized, federal authorities said Wednesday.

Homeland Security agents nabbed 126 counterfeit tickets before Game 1 between the Royals and the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Shawn Neudauer said the tickets had a $43,000 street value.

It's the Royals' first trip to the championship in 29 years. The World Series games in Kansas City are mostly sold out, although the Royals have sold a smattering of tickets they'd held in reserve each day. Some standing-room only tickets are selling for as much as $400 on legitimate resale sites.

Three people from New York and one person from Atlanta were arrested in Kansas and have been charged in the ticket scheme, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said in a news release. Authorities suspect more sports fans bought bogus tickets from the suspects, and urged them to come forward.

Meanwhile, officials in Platte County, Missouri, have charged a homeless man with possessing 101 counterfeit T-shirts with trademark KC lettering, court records show.

Other counterfeit items seized by Homeland Security agents include baseball caps, cellphone cases, sweatshirts, underwear and baby clothes, as well as equipment used to make the counterfeit items, Neudauer said. The value of those items wasn't immediately available.

Lindquist Press owner Eric Lindquist said he had no idea he violated copyright law when he printed a few dozen pairs of women's underwear with “Take the Crown” and “KC” across the rear for Birdies Panties in Kansas City. He said the design was hand-drawn.

Federal agents handcuffed him Tuesday and searched the Kansas City shop where he lives and works. Lindquist has not been charged.

“I was telling them that I have no interest in the Royals anymore or baseball in general,” he said. “It was quite an education.”

Neudauer said seized items are almost always destroyed, except in rare instances when the counterfeit trademark is removed from clothing before it is donated. He described the arrests and seizures as “very typical” of a major sporting event.

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