City Desk

Tooth and Consequences

Do you brush your teeth twice daily, but they never feel clean? Are you wondering why you have three cavities after a lifetime of healthy pearly whites? Is your longtime allegiance to Colgate starting to peter off, and it's making you question everything that's holy?

Well, you too, might be a victim of New York City's brazen toothpaste scam! Man, D.C. criminals are so BO-ring! The last press release from the United States Attorney's office in D.C. about any sort of fraud is about bribery at DMVs in Brentwood and Georgetown. The case's defendant, Patricia E. Gonzalez, 39, of Takoma Park, Maryland, made $10,000.

Small potatoes.

Teeth-cleaning products apparently offer a much better pay-off. Check this U.S. Department of Justice press release:

"Yesterday, Saifoulaye Diallo, 51, from the Bronx, N.Y., and Habib Bah, 47, of Queens, N.Y.; and two New York corporations, Mabass Inc. and Vidtape Inc., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Brian M. Cogan to trafficking in counterfeit goods in violation of criminal trademark laws. The defendants admitted during the plea hearings to having trafficked in a combined total of 518,028 tubes of counterfeit Colgate toothpaste with an estimated retail value of $730,419."

Cue the dignified, but ridiculous, quote from a bureaucrat:

"Something as routine as brushing your teeth should not be dangerous. Consumers should not have to worry that criminals have tampered with the products they use or ingest," said Julie L. Myers, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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