2 Brothers Admit Peddling Bootleg Jerseys on Wildwood Boardwalk

Brett and Evan Strothers pleaded guilty to buying almost 17,000 counterfeit jerseys to give away as prizes on the Wildwood boardwalk.

Bootleg jerseys - Wildwood - counterfeit jerseys - U.S. Department of Justice photo

The game on the Wildwood boardwalk where the Strothers brothers gave away counterfeit basketball jerseys as prizes. (Photo: U.S. Department of Justice)

As an expert in Wildwood boardwalk T-shirts, it’s time to let you readers in on a little secret: Not all of the shirts are officially licensed products. Logos are used without permission, store owners swipe T-shirt ideas from one another and — maybe because infringers can escape into the sea — the boardwalk is generally a copyright lawlessness zone.

But not always. In the past two weeks, two South Jersey brothers have pleaded guilty to purchasing at least 16,700 counterfeit basketball and football jerseys and giving them away as prizes at three outposts on the boardwalk in Wildwood and North Wildwood. To which I say: It’s actually possible to win those prizes on the Wildwood boardwalk’s basketball games?!

Brett Strothers, 35, pleaded guilty to conspiring to traffic counterfeit goods between 2010 and 2012 last month; his brother Evan Strothers, 30, pleaded guilty to the charges yesterday. Officials say the pair were caught when Brett purchased fake jerseys from an undercover federal agent at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway. As part of plea agreements, the two brothers agreed to turn over 7,500 bootleg jerseys and forfeit $100,000. They face up to 10 years in prison.

The brothers were originally charged four years ago along with two other men — Joseph Cuozzo, 44, a U.S. citizen residing in Thailand, and Haresh Aildasani, 27, an Indian citizen residing in China — and accused of buying counterfeit jerseys that, if real, would cost about $4 million.

Read the original complaint below.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.

Strothers, Brett and Evan, et al. Complaint