3 people charged in $2 million fake merchandise raid at Cool Beans

Cool Beans storefront in west Peachtree City.
Cool Beans storefront in west Peachtree City.

Peachtree Police recovered upwards of $2 million in counterfeit designer merchandise and shut down a local retailer, Cool Beans, at 2848 Highway 54 after a March 6 raid.

The fake merchandise was sold out of the nutrition shop’s back room, while online orders were shipped from a Coweta County residence, police said.

Arrested were Erika Rylant, 40, and Thomas Bean, 35, both of Coweta County, both charged with distribution and sale of counterfeit merchandise, a felony. Bean also had an active warrant for violation of probation out of Senoia, police said.

Sydney Williams, 35, of Franklin, Ga., was likewise charged with distribution and sale of counterfeit merchandise, a felony, according to the police news release.

Peachtree City investigators and Coweta County Sheriff’s deputies searched the storefront in west Peachtree City and the business owner’s residence in Coweta County. Officers recovered 1,429 counterfeit items, with 32 different designer brands, at the storefront and the owner’s residence, police said.

The “conservative estimate from industry experts” is that the fake items represented over $2 million in retail value, police said.

Police started the probe after complaints from “concerned citizens and complaints from designer brands whose names/trademarks were being illegally used on the counterfeit merchandise being sold out of the back room of the Cool Beans storefront and shipped from the residence in Coweta County from online orders,” police said.

The department’s Facebook page said this: “So, a thing happened, and we wanted to let you know about it, especially if you were planning on going shopping for a Fucci, Louis Vatun, Channel, Fundi, Corcs, Pruda, Likes, or Dair products [all spellings exactly as appearing in the Facebook post] at a local establishment that has been closed probably permanently so in case you were looking to buy a $20 Louis Vuitton purse today the Cool little shop has Bean closed.

“During the execution of the search warrant, over 1400 items from 32 different manufacturers were seized. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”