Remember Marisa Noel Brown? She's the youngest daughter of Fairfield Greenwich Group founder Walter Noel, whose role in the Madoff scam resulted in the family being kicked out of their country club and being forced to sell their share of a private jet. As her husband was a FGG employee at the time the shit hit the fan back in December 2008, and would likely find it difficult to find a position at a new firm what with the taint of his father-in-law-/Madoff, it appeared lucky that Marisa had started a jewelry company with her friends several months prior, which meant she could not only provide for her children, but provide hope that the Noels could again one day be known as successful, hardworking businessmen and ladies. Which is why this lawsuit claiming MNB and her partners's model was to buy jewelry from well-known designers and then sell it as their own is not helping things.
In the Manhattan federal court suit, Sydney-based Dinosaur Designs -- whose award-winning pieces have been featured in museum exhibitions -- claims Brown's Tre Labs bought necklaces and bracelets at Dinosaur's New York store on Elizabeth and Prince streets and shipped them off to China to be copied. According to the suit against Tre, the purloined jewelry pieces included Dinosaur's "Wishbone" cluster necklace and "Boulder" and "Moon Rock" bangles. The retail price for Tre's knockoff Boulder bracelet was $75 to $90, compared to $125 to $370 for the real Dinosaur item. Tre re-christened the $200 Wishbone necklace the "Uma" and priced it at $125.
In February, Dinosaur execs were stunned when they visited the Coterie trade show at the Javits Center and spotted Tre's sales rep, Cynthia O'Connor and Associates, taking orders for several Tre pieces that were really "unauthorized copies of [Dinosaur's] copyrighted works." Court papers allege that Brown's pal Lanaro, or someone representing her, made several trips to the Dinosaur boutique between Dec. 6 and Dec. 9 last year, buying up several hundred dollars worth of Dinosaur's unique, hand-smoothed pieces. The items were paid for with Lanaro's credit card.
Sorry, but no one (no names: Bernie, dad) ever said that credit card statements could be used as evidence in Illegitimate Businesses 101, so this suit should be thrown out.