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The counterfeit cops
The counterfeit cops
Photographed on Canal Street in New York City
The knockoff-goods industry takes in hundreds of billions annually, and, more troubling, it uses child labor to churn out fake Nike sneakers and Prada bags. Counterfeiting is especially rampant in New York City, but there's a new sheriff in town.

Shari Hyman (second from right) heads the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement, a 15-member squad that includes police officers, firemen, building inspectors, and even a tax specialist.

Since its 2006 inception, the OSE, which partners with private eyes hired by luxury brands, has confiscated $65 million worth of fakes. Last year a two-month investigation culminated in a bust of Chinatown's "Counterfeit Triangle," where the team shut down 32 shops.

NEXT: Urban anthropologists
Last updated September 08 2009: 8:58 AM ET
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