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Cleanliness is next to godliness, which is next to your cell mate Bubba who fancies a good time.

For a long time people have been scammed by websites selling goods that do not exist, and the problem is so large it's staggering. Counterfeit goods are the greatest bait, and whether people think the goods are the real deal or not, it's the price that sucks in the victims. We aren't talking a fistful of dollars here either, we are talking scams operating in the millions.

So I'm happy when I read things like this.

A Richmond man was sentenced today to 63 months in prison and could lose $600,000 for selling counterfeit brand-name clothing and shoes and wiring the proceeds to a supplier in China.

Luis M. Thomas, 51, who ran Thomas Fashions at 5501 Midlothian Turnpike for several years, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Thomas' wife, Maria A. Thomas, was acquitted in a jury trial in February.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, an order resolving the forfeiture of $600,000 in seized funds and Thomas' 2006 Ford truck is pending. He sold fake, brand-name sportswear and hip-hop clothing, sneakers and other items.

Thomas has had run-ins with the law in the past. In 2001 he was convicted in Richmond of selling counterfeit clothing and in 2002 police seized his inventory after an undercover purchase of a counterfeit item.

He opened a second counterfeit store, Thomas Sportswear, at 7832 Midlothian Turnpike and began wiring large sums directly to a Chinese distributor to buy thousands of pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes.

In May 2006 an undercover Chesterfield police officer purchased counterfeit jerseys and sneakers at Thomas' store. In a search of his home, two stores and three rented storage units, authorities seized goods valued at more than $1 million.

-- Frank Green