Source AP ©

Oregon man fined for bringing into th USA fake Rolex watches

An Oregon man is being fined $55,300 (EUR40,900) for bringing into the United States eight fake Rolex watches for which he paid $14.40 (EUR10.65), according to a media report.

Mike Korpi told The Oregonian newspaper he just wanted gifts from China for his children and grandchildren, but customs agents seized the watched on his way back into the country.

For months the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tried reaching Korpi through letters to his former wife and phone calls seeking to fine him the retail price for genuine Rolexes.

"I about hit the floor," he told The Oregonian newspaper. "I said, `You gotta be joking.' I figured someone had missed a decimal point."

Korpi, 55, a race car mechanic whose story first appeared on the Willamette Week Web site on Monday, says he cannot afford to hire a lawyer.

"I don't know what is going on here," said Korpi, who has been to China four times in two or so years to visit his girlfriend, a tattoo artist. "I can't sleep. I haven't slept in five days."

If they are supposed to be guarding the border, he asked The Oregonian, "Why are they bothering me with eight dinky watches?"

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