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Scammer Makes Seven Figures Buying Luxury Bags Online and Returning Chinese Fakes for Full Refunds

A Thai woman living in Virgina was recently convicted for masterminding an elaborate designer purse scheme that involved buying hundreds of authentic accessories online and returning Chinese knock-offs for full refunds. She would then sell the originals on sites like eBay, for about $2,000 each.

Over a number of years, 41-year-old Praepitcha Smatsorabudh, a preschool teacher in Arlington County, used an ingenious scam to supplement her day-job paycheck. She would buy high end bags like Gucci, Burberry and Fendi online, and then return fake ones she had specially made in China and Hong Kong. Court documents revealed that in order to cover her trail, she traveled to over 60 T.J. Maxx stores in 12 states, to return the bags, and used 16 different credit cards when making new purchases. Smatsorabudh’s scheme was so incredibly successful that at one point she was T.J. Maxx’s number one online client in the world.

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