Apparel Company Pro-MAGA Fined for ‘Made in USA Fake Labels’: ‘Come Clean’, Says FTC


A supporter carries a Lions Not Sheep flag as the peoples convoy gathers at Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Maryland

Stefani Reynolds/Getty

A conservative, pro-MAGA clothing company has been fined and ordered to “stop making false Made in USA claims” about its products.

Lions Not Sheep Products, LLC, and its owner Sean Whalen were ordered to “confess” to its overseas production and pay $211,335 to the Federal Trades Commission (FTC) “for falsely claiming that its imported garments are made in the USA,” according to a July 28 Press release.

The order arrived more than two months later the FTC announced allegations that “fake Made in USA labels” were placed on the company’s garments “imported from China and other countries”.

“In most cases, products advertised using these claims consist of fully imported shirts and hats with limited finishing work done in the United States,” the FTC said on May 11.

Lions Not Sheep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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According to the commission’s original complaint, Whalen and Lions Not Sheep “removed tags revealing that the merchandise was made in a foreign country” before printing “Made in USA” on the neckline of some shirts between May and October. 2021.

In October 2020, Whalen shared a video of himself on social media stating that he “could disguise the fact that his shirts are made in China by tearing off the original tags and replacing them with tags stating that the merchandise was manufactured in the United States,” according to the FTC.

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Many products sold by Lions Not Sheep contain conservative and pro-MAGA messages, including phrases such as “Let’s Go Brandon” and “#FJB”.

On social media, the company claims to “show people that it’s possible to live life like a LION, not like a sheep,” as the original FTC announcement notes.

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Lions not sheep website now says the company is allowed to use a label that reads “Produced in the USA with imported materials” based on its current practices.

The Utah-based company says it sources products “from multiple domestic and international vendors and suppliers,” such as Korea, China, Colombia and Bangladesh.

Its website says the company’s products “are sourced internationally” through a US-based wholesaler, who ships them into the country “to be printed, embroidered, laser engraved, labeled and packaged”.

Items would then be shipped to Lions Not Sheep headquarters in Utah, where orders are then fulfilled.

Lions Not Sheep says the goal of its practice is to “keep as many jobs in the United States as possible.”

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In an Instagram Publish Shared by Lions Not Sheep a day after the FTC’s May 11 announcement, Whalen said he was “proud to have built a company” that “employs dozens of hard-working Americans.”

“Our t-shirts are printed in the USA! Our hats are embroidered in the USA! GOD BLESS AMERICA! 🇺🇸,” he wrote alongside a black image with the word “Facts.” written above the word “Feelings”.

In May, Sam Levine, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, said that “American consumers have the right to know the truth about where their clothes and accessories are made.”

“Companies that affix false Made in USA labels to imported products are deceiving their customers and undermining honest businesses,” he added, “and we will hold these companies and their executives accountable for their wrongdoing.”


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