Ear Hustle

Florida Woman Ordered To Pay MAC Cosmetics $1 Million After Caught Selling Counterfeit Make-Up

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She could have used some better cover-up.

While big brands debate the cost of counterfeit goods to their companies, one woman is learning the true price of doing dishonest business – to the tune of almost a million bucks. Tina Oleszczuk from New Port Richey, Florida, will have to pay up for selling fake MAC products, as a federal judge has ruled that she owes the company $961,744.75.

The 45-year-old woman was also sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, though it is unknown whether she will serve the entire time for selling make-up that she purchased from an unauthorized retailer.

Ms. Oleszczuk bought the knock-offs in bulk quantities and had them shipped from China. She then sold them as real MAC products from her own company, Cozmetic Delights LLC, and on eBay – in sales that totaled over one million dollars.

‘Our products are distributed for sale only at our authorized retail store accounts (including certain direct TV sales), free-standing stores, and e-commerce sites,’ a spokesperson for MAC told 10 News. ‘If a retailer is not one of our accounts, we have no control over the merchandise that they sell. Further, we have no way of knowing how they obtained our products. Therefore, we are unable to assume responsibility for unauthorized representation of our product.’

An agent at Homeland Security Investigations in Tampa added: ‘Counterfeiting undermines the U.S. economy, robs Americans of jobs, stifles American innovation, and promotes other types of crime. The only ones who benefit from schemes like this are the counterfeiters themselves, and they are benefiting at America’s expense.’

Besides the claim that counterfeiting undermines the economy and job market, many experts argue that fake beauty products are also unsafe.

Counterfeits can have dangerous ingredients not found in the brand’s actual products, including lead, copper, mercury, arsenic, and even cyanide.

Some unwitting purchasers of fake products have reported developing skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and rashes, as well as eye infections. Dermatologists warn that allergic reactions to these chemicals can be a real threat – and even land users in the hospital.

In fact, fakes manufactured to look like MAC products have been found to have up to 19 times the legal level of lead.

Excessive levels of lead can cause high blood pressure, fertility problems, memory and concentration problems, and increased risk of harm to the fetus during pregnancy.

Brands and trading standards officers often recommend that shoppers buy carefully, sticking to verified retailers and being wary of heavily discounted items.

Source: Daily Mail

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