Expert on counterfeit sports merchandise featured at GCC’s Fashion Business Lecture Series

Feb 26, 2019

Clothes sometimes are not what they appear to be.

Detective John Payne knows that all too well in his work at Orchard Park Police Department.

Payne for the past 10 years has worked with NFL officials to curtail counterfeit merchandising at Bills games.

On March 6, Payne will share his expertise as part of Genesee Community College’s Fashion Business Speaker Series.

“This is the first time the Fashion Business Lecture Series has covered the topic of counterfeit merchandising, and we are honored to have Detective Payne share his expertise to our campus and community,” Laura Taylor, instructor of Fashion Business said. “This is not only an important subject to my fashion business students, but GCC’s criminal justice and business students will also gain a vast amount of information from his lecture.”

Last year, Homeland Security Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recorded 28,000 seizures of counterfeit goods valued at $1.4 billion. One raid alone in Laredo, Texas brought in 181,000 items valued at $42.9 million.

The serious issue of counterfeit merchandise hits much closer to home, however, with ongoing investigations and detective work occurring each year at the New Era Field in Orchard Park throughout the Buffalo Bills season.

Payne began his efforts to curtail counterfeit merchandising at football games nearly ten years ago when the Buffalo Bills alerted local law enforcement that numerous vendors were selling illegal items outside the stadium. NFL officials worked closed with the Orchard Park Police Department to train key members of the force to identify legitimate products against the counterfeit.

Payne assembled a task force which included the assistance of federal agencies. In the past few years, numerous arrests have been made including a major supplier, and thousands of dollars of counterfeit merchandise has been seized and destroyed.

With more than 25 years in law enforcement, including 20 years with the OPPD, Payne has a broad base of experience in criminal justice. He has been a SWAT Team member, sniper, observer, major crimes and fire investigator, as well as an instructor with the Erie County Police Academy. He earned both a Master’s degree in Police Administration and Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Hilbert College.

Payne’s speech will be at 1 p.m. March 6 in room T102. The event is free and open to the public. Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

By Scott Desmit, Batavia Daily News

Category: Events