Federal authorities have charged three New Mexicans in a plot involving the sale of Filipino-made jewelry that was falsely advertised as Native American.
In an indictment unsealed Thursday, authorities claim Nael Ali, the owner two shops in Albuquerque's Old Town, sold thousands of dollars worth of fake Native American jewelry since 2012.
Authorities arrested him and employee Christina Bowen on Wednesday and charged them with violating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, a federal law that protects the authenticity of Native American crafts. Also arrested and charged was Mohammad Mansara, who allegedly sold imitation jewelry as a wholesale dealer.
Both Ali and Bowen reportedly sold the fake jewelry to undercover agents at stores in Albuquerque and Scottsdale. All three defendants face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.