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Pat Swindall's name back in court for selling counterfeit sunglasses

Pat Swindall is no stranger to the court system.

Twenty-five years ago, the former U.S. Rep was convicted of perjury. More recently he was charged with making illegal campaign contributions.

More recently than that, the politician turned developer, faced possible foreclosure on a mini-mall for which he borrowed more than $10 million.

Now his name is in U.S. District Courts with charges of a stranger sort -- selling counterfeit merchandise.

Swindall, along with his wife Kim Swindall, is named in a case brought by Luxottica Group, the Italian corporation which manufactures luxury eyewear brands such as Coach, Chanel, Oakley, Ray Ban and more. Luxottica also operates over 7,000 retail stores, including LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, and Sunglass Hut.

The Swindalls are owners of Greenbriar Discount Mall, an indoor flea market in a lonely East Point strip mall called Greenbriar Marketplace.

While Kimberly Swindall is listed as sole owner of the flea market, her husband is the "manager" of the property.  Kimberly Swindall also holds 50 percent ownership in the actual strip mall.

A haven for knock-off designer goods, the mall has been the site of numerous investigations and police raids including a 2013 bust by the Atlanta Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security which yielded at least $400,000 in counterfeit goods and two arrests.

Copyright infringement cases are nothing new, but in this case, not only is the court recognizing the potential liability of the store owner selling fake goods, but also the owners of the mall property on which the fakes are being sold.

The case is expected to go to trial later this year.

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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.