Chicest identity theft ever: The cops say they've broken up a ring of Saks Fifth Avenue employees who were allegedly colluding to steal customers' financial information, buy heaps of accessories and flip them on the black market. Their haul, according to the authorities? $400,000 worth of swag.
The New York Post reports that the Manhattan District Attorney has indicted five former Saks Fifth Avenue employees on charges including grand larceny and identity theft. Here's how the cops allege it went down: 36-year-old Tamara Williams was the ringleader, lifting personal info from the accounts of 20 Saks credit card holders and turning it over to the other four:
The employees would then use the stolen information to purchase luxury goods that WILLIAMS pre-selected from designer brands, including Chanel, Valentino, Christian Louboutin, Ferragamo, Balmain, YSL, Gucci, Giuseppe Zanotti, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, and Givenchy.
In some cases, the sales associates would then provide the fraudulently purchased merchandise to a group of "shoppers," who were allegedly recruited by WILLIAMS to impersonate Saks accountholders. Three separately charged shoppers, who have previously been arraigned in Criminal Court, are accused of receiving merchandise that was pre-purchased by the sales associates, and then meeting WILLIAMS at designated places, such as hair salons and gas stations in Queens, to hand-off the stolen merchandise, which was then resold on the black market.
I keep telling people that Queens is border-to-border excitement, but nobody ever listens.
District Attorney Cy Vance held a big press conference earlier Monday, complete with a big pile of the goods including a $10,000 YSL handbag, and informed the assembled reporters that, "These shoes are not counterfeit — these shoes are real, which is where their value comes from."
It's no fun when somebody pinches your debit card number but dear Hollywood: Please turn this into The Bling Ring but if it were Ocean's Eleven, with a pinch of Office Space.
Photo via Manhattan DA's Office.