Federal Agents Zero In On Notorious Internet Scam Artist
A Pennsylvania scam artist who has already been hit with $10 million in legal judgments for selling counterfeit luxury watches online is in the crosshairs of federal investigators for allegedly continuing to rip off unsuspecting consumers, court records show.
In late-June, federal agents raided three properties connected to Christopher Veit, 37, in connection with a scheme involving “numerous websites” operated by Veit and his cohorts. In the wake of the searches, several Veit associates began providing investigators with details of the alleged fraud, including a list of e-mail addresses used in the counterfeiting scam.
Investigators last month secured a warrant to search four Yahoo accounts used by Veit in the watch scam, which once peddled its goods via the Global Replica web site. The site was ordered shuttered late last year after a lawsuit was brought by several luxury retailers, including Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. However, Veit & Co. continued selling bogus goods by recreating their web site at another address, according to a search warrant affidavit sworn by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.
In addition to his sale of counterfeit goods, TSG has discovered that Veit is also connected to a web site selling “All Natural Breast Enhancement” pills ($109.99 for a two-month supply). An ad last month on Craigslist’s Philadelphia site--placed from one of Veit’s e-mail addresses--sought an actress to appear in a video testimonial for the pills. For a payment of between $100-$200, the woman was expected to first speak about her breasts while wearing a sports bra, and then in a padded or push-up bra (presumably to show the pill’s beneficial effect).
Veit has also, over the past five weeks, been using an online art appraisal site to post details about 14 valuable artworks in his possession. On the site, Nugent Appraisal, Veit contends to have obtained each piece at a European estate sale. The scamster’s art holdings purportedly include pieces by Picasso (five); Matisse (two); Schiele (two); Klimt; and Gauguin. Click here to see Veit’s October 4 listing for a “pastel painting signed by Picasso.”
Reached by phone this afternoon, Veit acknowledged the federal raids on his properties, but claimed not to be aware that he was the target of a criminal probe. He then hung up on a TSG reporter.