Authentic (and rare) Hermès bags, such as the Birkin and the Kelly, bought by fake customers and then resold at three times the original price in a luxury Parisian showroom. A millionaire and systematic scam that lasted about 4 years, procuring millionaire earnings for a network of about ten people. Which, according to the investigations, would have reinvested the proceeds, estimated at one million euros per month. The Paris Judicial Police exposed the gang and arrested the suspects.
The organisation recruited fake Hermès customers, usually women, in theatre schools or on social networks. Each of them received up to 500 euros to go to Hermès boutiques located in France and Europe. Here, they pretended to be wealthy clients, dressed in designer clothes and recited a script with the aim of getting the bag. These extras rotated continuously, to avoid arousing suspicion in the sales staff who, however, in some cases, managed to recognise and expose them. The network of scammers, the investigators report, also tried to involve some shop assistants.
Sold to tripled prices
The purchased bag was then delivered to the organisation which, to resell it, had set up a showroom in the Faubourg Saint-Honoré area of Paris. Here, customers arrived (particularly inexperienced, one might say…), convinced that they were dealing with an official branch of the maison. And, therefore, willing to pay even three times the original price to be able to grab an authentic bag, skipping the purchase waiting lists that characterise the commercial model of some Hermès bags.
One million euros per month
According to Le Parisien, Paris Public Prosecutor had identified this parallel market in 2020. Police investigations led, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, to the arrest of a dozen people, accused of “money laundering”. At the head of the gang there would be a forty-year-old Frenchman of Tunisian origin already known to the police. Investigators estimate the organisation’s earnings in several tens of millions of euros, with average “sales” of around one million euros per month. Money that he would be investing in real estate in Tunisia and (possibly) Portugal.
- France, Public Prosecutor calls for 8 years for fake Hermès connection
- The network that produced and marketed fake Birkin bags for over 20 years
- Fake Birkin: Hermès asks for 2 million damages, the defence arises