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Woman buys designer bags from department stores and returns fake replicas for refund

By Mason White 2:00 PM December 28, 2016
Praepitcha Smatsorabudh
By: Chan Yuan

A woman came up with an elaborate scheme to defraud department stores across the United States.

41-year-old Praepitcha Smatsorabudh of Thailand, was living in Arlington, Virginia, on a student visa when she committed the fraud.

Smatsorabudh bought designer handbags from 60 stores across 12 states, according to the US Department of Justice.

She bought a lot of fake designer bags from companies overseas. She then went online and found stores who carry those bags.

She ordered the bags and she later went to their stores and returned fake replicas for full refunds.

After getting a refund, Smatsorabudh sold the original bags to customers online for at least $2,000 each.

The fraud came to light after T.J. Maxx realized that the woman bought 226 designer purses online and she returned all of them to the their stores in different locations.

Neiman Marcus identified 10 designer handbags that were returned by the suspect.

Smatsorabudh defrauded department stores out of more than $400,000.

Smatsorabudh was sentenced to 30 months in prison. She was also ordered to pay $403,250.81 in restitution to her victims and the same amount in forfeiture.