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Thread: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

  1. #1
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    Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

    Wall Street Journal story -

    US News & World Report story -

    SOMEONE like this HAS to show up at Knott's this year .....

  2. #2

    Re: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

    Whats the TAX police in Italy? Is it like our IRS ? The writer of the article seems to be hyping it up a bit.

  3. #3
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    Re: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

    how do you know its a fiero? i thought it looked like a MR2 more so.

  4. #4
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

    Italian Tax Police Bust Up
    Fake-Ferrari Ring
    Auto-Body Shops
    Built Counterfeits
    Using Pontiac Fieros
    February 28, 2008; Page D5

    (See Corrections and Amplifications item below.)

    It was the ultimate face-lift: a sporty red Ferrari F355 on the outside, a used Pontiac Fiero on the inside.

    That was enough, apparently, to entice wannabe Ferrari owners to plunk down 20,000, or about $30,000, for the chance to own an approximation of the real thing.

    Yesterday, Italian tax police, the Guardia di Finanza, busted up a ring of auto-body shops across the country that were trafficking in one of the most high-end and high-priced counterfeit cars of all time.

    See photos of some fake Ferraris.
    The ring operated in a dozen cities from near the Alps in the north to Sicily in the south. Tax police rounded up seven completed fake Ferraris, as well as another seven that were still being decked out. Some of the counterfeit cars had already been sold. They also seized numerous spare parts, some of which were genuine Ferrari. Eight people were placed under investigation, but no arrests were made.

    The head of the Palermo unit of the tax police, Guido Mario Geremia, who spearheaded the investigation, said it involved "a sophisticated operation that was running throughout Italy."

    The global counterfeit industry has been one of the world's most inventive, churning out knockoff copies not just of Channel handbags and Gucci sunglasses, but also of products ranging from high-end wines to pharmaceuticals, telecommunications equipment and videogames.

    Even by those standards, copying a Ferrari seems particularly brazen. The company makes about 6,000 cars a year, and waiting lists for new models can run years. Most cost more than $200,000, but prices can soar far beyond that depending on the level of customization. The company boasts that its engineering -- much of which it also uses on its championship Formula One racing team -- is second to none.

    So who would dare buy a fake? "There are people who buy fake Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags, so it's not so strange that someone would buy a fake Ferrari," said Mr. Geremia.

    Mr. Geremia said he began working on the case six months ago based on a tip. He was able to trace the different cars and fake parts to cities throughout Italy, where specialized auto-body shops would strip down the body of the old Fiero, including its bumpers, hood and rear, and then mount parts to build the fake Ferrari.

    Once assembled, the fake Ferraris looked pretty close to the real things. At least when standing still. The Pontiac Fiero, whose production cycle spanned the second half of the 1980s, was considered a peppy, if not so dependable, two-seater. Still, its V4 engine is no match for the V8 under the hood of the F355, which boasts a top speed of 183 miles per hour.

    In a few cases, Mercedes and Porsches were used as the underlying cars instead of Pontiacs.

    Ferrari SpA, a unit of Fiat SpA, had no comment on the investigation. Spokeswoman Mariella Mengozzi said the company works side by side with authorities in Italy and abroad on these types of investigations.

    Last year, fake Ferraris were nabbed by the tax police in Sardinia and Rome. In 2006, the European Commissioner for Justice, Franco Frattini, protested publicly that fake Ferraris were popping up in China.

    The ring uncovered yesterday included salesmen who promoted what they said were "replica" Ferraris over several Internet sites. They also operated showrooms where the cars were displayed. Others provided parts, from headlights to steering wheels.

    The latest figures from the World Customs Organization show that all types of counterfeits result in about $500 billion to $600 billion in lost sales annually, which is about 5% of global trade.

    Harley Lewin, a partner with New York law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, who specializes in counterfeit issues and isn't involved in the Ferrari case, said that even a few fake Ferraris on the road could harm the company's image. "It starts to taint the brand," he said. "It becomes a big deal; all of the sudden legitimate products start to lose their color, their appeal. The fake cheapen and diminish the real thing."

    Write to Rosamaria Mancini at

    Corrections and Amplifications

    A previous version of the slideshow that accompanies this article incorrectly said the fake auto was a Ferrari F355.

    It's a rebody guys!
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  5. #5
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

    Feb 28, 3:13 PM EST

    Italy Busts Ring Building Fake Ferraris

    Associated Press Writer

    MILAN, Italy (AP) -- Italian financial police have busted a ring of counterfeiters who built fake Ferraris and sold them for as little as $30,000 a car, officials said Thursday.

    Authorities have confiscated 14 fake Ferrari Modena 360s - seven sold and seven under construction - in an operation reaching from Palermo to Milan, said Guido Geremia, head of the Palermo unit that led the investigation.

    Investigators do not know how many of the cars have been sold in the past - but Geremia said the buyers knew the cars were fakes and were clearly seeking to impress unknowing neighbors with the sleek-bodied speed machines.

    "That is the only reason," he said.

    Eight people are under investigation, authorities said. The ring used mostly Pontiacs as their base, but also Mercedes and Toyotas, building a copy of a Ferrari body over the original car's engine.

    "It was done very well - they were very skilled," Geremia said.

    The financial police, who lead Italy's fight against the counterfeiters who cash in on the peninsula's reputation for quality in everything from handbags to prosciutto, launched the Ferrari investigation six months ago. Geremia said they were helped by Internet sites where the cars were offered up for sale.

    The 360 Modena went out of production in 2004, and was priced at the time at $215,000, said Ferrari spokeswoman Mariella Mengozzi. The current suggested retail price by Italy's consumer auto magazine for a 2004 model is around $150,000.

    Mengozzi said it is not the first time the Ferrari brand has been copied and that the automaker, which is owned by the Fiat Group, monitors Web sites for evidence of fakes.

    "Ferrari is a product that maintains its value over time and of course we try to protect our clients who buy the real thing," Mengozzi said.

    I have a fake Fiero with accents from Italy
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  6. #6
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    Re: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

    I'm gonna take all the Lambo emblems and crest piece's off my countach and put pontiac emblems on it. You think pontiac will come after me? LOL 8)

  7. #7
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    Re: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

    i dont think we have anything to worry about OWNING the car , only if you sell the car (new or even used) youre you "dealing" in counterfit goods. 8)

  8. #8
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    Re: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

    Quote Originally Posted by jntramey
    i dont think we have anything to worry about OWNING the car , only if you sell the car (new or even used) youre you "dealing" in counterfit goods. 8)
    Correct. And even if you sell your used one...take off (or Photoshop) the badges and sell it as a u-build car or so. The moment you call it a Lxxx or Fxxx replica you might get problems..and if only with Ebay or the online or printed magazine you sell it through. Again - you can call something you own whatever you like. You can put badges on, no problem...You can buy a $1 original artwork on the flea market...and sign it "Picasso"'s up to you. Only if you sell it as an original, or promote it in a commercial way .. only then you will get problems. Or - if you bring something into the country. Let's say you were in Hongkong and bought fake Rolex' and could get huge problems at customs. Not really if it is only one and you wear it...but if you brought some more for friends...then you could run into huge problems

  9. #9

    Re: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring

    I always like the "cheapening the brand" excuse. If they really and truly cared about this, they would not sell cars, and only lease them. How many times have you seen a trashed, hacked up Ferrari on eBay or driving around?

  10. #10

    Re: Police Bust fiero-based Ferrari Ring


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