Selling rented clothes leads to charges in 0 000 fraud scheme

Connie Queline

Selling rented clothes leads to charges in $750 000 fraud scheme

A Michigan woman who rented designer clothes from several websites, but then allegedly sold the clothes online was charged with fraud by federal prosecutors.

Brandalene Horn opened hundreds of accounts with at least three companies that allow customers to wear high-end clothes and apparel, rented more than 1 000 items and then sold them online for more than $750 000, US prosecutors in New York said.

Horn, 42, was arrested Wednesday morning in Freeland, Michigan, and charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. She faces as much as 20 years in prison on the most serious charges.

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The companies attempted to charge Horn for the items, but she disputed them with her credit union or cancelled the cards she used to purchase them, prosecutors said. And when the accounts were closed or flagged for fraudulent activity, she opened new ones.

Prosecutors said she basically replicated the rental listings for her online sales, often using the identical photos and descriptions. In one example, Horn allegedly listed a $1,390 gown by K.Ngsley for $189, using the same photo from a rental site.

While the companies weren’t identified, a Google search on the K.Ngsley gown shows the listing provided by prosecutors on Rent the Runway Inc’s website.

Lawyers for Horn, who is scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge in Michigan today, couldn’t be immediately reached to comment.

The case is US v Horn, 24-mj-636, US District Court, Southern District of New York.

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