Have you ever waltzed into Hermès in hopes of snagging a coveted Birkin or Kelly bag only to be turned down? Well apparently actors recruited by a scheming illegal bag gang weren’t as unlucky as many hopeful buyers, because French authorities recently busted a ring of resellers in Paris.

According to The Times UK a Birkin bag-buying gang allegedly recruited fake would-be buyers from acting schools and on the internet to purchase real bags as part of an elaborate and incredibly lucrative scheme. The fake customers were instructed to dress in designer clothes in order to help them pass as wealthy consumers looking to snag a coveted silhouette at Hermès stores across Europe.

It’s been reported that the ring has made around a million euros a month while accumulating half of the company’s readily available supply over the past four years. The fake Birkin-buyers were allegedly paid for their service, which helped the illegal ring turn a profit by reselling the bags for well over their retail price.

French media also reported that victims were enticed to purchase the real goods by being invited to a fake showroom not far from Hermès’ central Paris location (though supposedly bags were exported to Asia as well).

After an eight-month investigation, authorities are said to have busted 10 suspects varying in age from 24 to 57. This scheme is likely going to add to Hermès’ growing concerns over the purchasing of its bags with the sole purpose of reselling. And though the reselling of bags is hard to monitor as the practice itself is not exactly illegal, posing as a legitimate Hermès showroom is of course punishable by law and that seems to be where this massive reselling ring went wrong.

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