Fake Rolex watch on Craigslist leads to arrest of Boca Raton man

Ernane Franco, Courtesy Palm Beach County Jail.

BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — A Boca Raton man is facing forgery charges following his arrest by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

(If you’re reading this in a news app, click here to access the full report, with documents and images, at BocaNewsNow.com).

According to PBSO Detectives, Ernane Franco was selling counterfeit Rolex watches on Craigslist. The lists were seen by a private detective.

From the police report written by PBSO Detective who works undercover to keep his name undisclosed: “I was contacted by a private investigator, Eric Berger. Berger is an intellectual property investigator, represents various brands and has been trained by brands in identifying counterfeit goods. Investigator Berger has over ten years of experience in this field. Investigator Berger informed me that a seller on “Craigslist.com” was offering counterfeit Rolex watches for sale. The Craigslist ad for counterfeit Rolexes was posed with the seller’s phone number listed as 561-929-3667 and the advertiser listed counterfeit Rolex watches for sale in the unincorporated area of ​​Boca Raton.

The account continues: “Contact was made with the seller by SMS. The vendor agreed to meet in the McDonalds parking lot at 23073 Sandalfoot Plaza. The seller agreed to meet in the parking lot between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. on February 11, 2021. In the text messages, the seller agreed to sell five “brand new” Rolex watches for $400 in US currency.

“I arrived at the McDonalds and made contact with the accused shortly after. There, the accused showed me the watches and again accepted the price of $400 for the five watches. The signal dismantling was given and the accused was taken into custody by members of the street team without incident.

Investigator Berger examined the fake watches, according to the probable cause affidavit, and determined their market value to be $149,700. Not $400.

Franco, of the 23000 block of Carolwood Lane in Boca Raton, is now charged with forgery – “selling, offering counterfeit (goods) worth $20,000 or more”. Bond was set at $5,000, which he posted.

Read the full police report below. If you are reading in a news app and the PDF does not appear, click here.


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Floyd N. Morlan