PA man charged with selling counterfeit t-shirts at Special Olympics’ Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser


A suburban Philadelphia man has been charged with selling counterfeit merchandise at one of the state’s leading fund-raising events thanks in part to a social media post.

Edward D. Brandt, 58, of Newtown, PA was arrested Sunday afternoon during the Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge event when he was observed by uniformed officers attempting to sell counterfeit event merchandise.

The event raised $900,000 for Special Olympics.

Just after noon, while working event security for the Polar Bear Plunge, a uniformed Delaware State Trooper and a DNREC Park Ranger were alerted by an event participant. The officers located Brandt on the beach in the area of Rehoboth Avenue holding up a counterfeit event t-shirt attempting to sell it.Upon seeing the officers, Brandt attempted to conceal the t-shirt he was holding up for sale.

Officers recognized him from a photo circulated via media outlets in 2016 in an attempt to identify a seller of counterfeit items.

The investigation was turned over to the Rehoboth Beach Police Department.Through their investigative efforts, officers were able to recover approximately 145 counterfeit Lewes Polar Bear Plunge t-shirts and several hundred dollars in United States currency from Brandt.

Brandt was arrested and charged with displaying and attempting to sell trademark counterfeit merchandise, a felony offense, due to a prior conviction in 2005 in Kent County, DE, Brandt was also charged with theft by false promise under $1500, a misdemeanor.

Brandt was arraigned by the Justice of the Peace Courtandreleased.

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