One of the pretend-buyers involved in the fraud of Hermès’ Birkin bags. From these words emerged many sophisticated details of the organization that perpetrated the crime for 4 years via a “mechanism” that went well beyond that of a parallel market. Simply put, these buyers would purchase the real bags of the French luxury brand and they would then resell them at triple the price paid, earning up to 1 million euro a month. Problem is, everything was done under the table and no taxes were paid. The organization was finally brought down in January thanks to the efforts of the Police Judiciare of Paris.
One of the pretend-buyers
The organization even recruited students that had just concluded theater school to act out the role of pretend-buyers- As reported in the interview transcribed by Le Parisien, one of them said that the buyers were usually foreign “because they are the only ones able to pay for the handbags in cash”.
The testimony explains that the pretend-buyers would receive very specific instructions on the model handbag to buy and the way they needed to dress to go inside the stores.
Actresses would also receive a fake Birkin handbag to use before entering Hermès’ stores and recite their part. No problems would arise when paying for the handbag: the organization would either wire the money first or provide credit cards to be used at the time purchases.
4 out of 30
The buyer interviewed told the story of about 30 occasions in which it enacted its part and, in these 4 years, only 4 attempts ended with a purchase. Compensation for each “successful” attempt was between 600 and 800 euro.
But that amount went up to 13,000 euro when one could get its hands on a 45,000-euro crocodile Birkin. The pretend-buyer that was interviewed has also claimed that some sales’ employees of Hermès were involved in the fraud.
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