Swap Shop settles counterfeit case with Coach for $5.5M

Preston Henn tries better policing vendors

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter , Ben Candea

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Preston Henn, the owner of the Swap Shop, says he's trying to better police vendors after agreeing to pay Coach $5.5 million in a federal court settlement.

"It's a big hit. It was a bad day," he said. "We lost."

Coach hired a private investigator who caught vendors at the 80-acre bazaar selling knockoff bags. Henn initially fought the allegations in court but said it became clear during trial it was a lost case.

"When the people admitted they were counterfeited," he said. "That was it. Then we settled."

Last month, the Broward Sheriff's Office arrested a woman who investigators say had 80 fake purses she planned to sell at the Swap Shop.

"I'm only the landlord. I don't sell anything," said Henn.

But Henn, whose $100 million car collection is on display at the Swap Shop, is responsible for the thousands of vendors who sell there.

Henn said he continues his daily patrols and recently banned all designed products.

"You can't sell them because we can't properly identify them as a landlord," he said.

Henn also hired a private investigators to snoop in the stores, looking for counterfeit goods.

Moses Nathan, a vendor, welcomed an end to counterfeit goods.

"It's good for my business," he said.

But it may be impossible to stop completely.

"We got a lot of people out here," said Henn.

Copyright 2013 by Local10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.