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Michigan woman accused of stealing $800K in luxury items from rental sites to resell them online

The woman spent nearly two years creating accounts on luxury rental websites so she could steal their goods and resell them, the Justice Department said.

A Michigan woman was arrested on multiple fraud charges in connection with a scheme to steal more than $800,000 in luxury clothing and goods from rental websites, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

The Justice Department alleged that Brandalene Horn, 42, opened hundreds of accounts on websites designed for women to rent clothing and accessories and then stole items to resell them later on an e-commerce marketplace, defrauding the clothing rental companies.

She stole more than 1,000 items valued at over $823,000 and sold more than $750,000 worth of the stolen items, federal prosecutors allege.

Horn was arrested Wednesday morning in Freeland, Michigan, and charged with one count each of mail fraud, wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property, the Justice Department said.

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The U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.Google Maps

No lawyer for Horn was listed. The U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York did not immediately reply to a call to inquire about Horn's representation Wednesday evening.

Horn engaged in the scheme for nearly two years, from at least April 2022 to February 2024, the Justice Department said in its release.

During that time, she opened hundreds of accounts across at least three companies that offer subscription-based clothing rental services, according to the Justice Department. Subscribers to those sites can rent and return clothing and accessories, including luxury and designer items.

Instead of returning the rented items, though, Horn kept them and resold them on an e-commerce marketplace, using item photos and descriptions that "substantially matched" those of the companies, the Justice Department alleged. Some of the items were pieces worth thousands of dollars.

When the companies began charging Horn for the stolen items, she disputed credit card charges and canceled her credit and debit card accounts altogether, the Justice Department said.

Thats prompted the companies to flag or close her accounts, but she responded by making even more accounts to continue the scheme, the Justice Department said.

"As alleged, Brandalene Horn perpetrated a lucrative scheme in which she defrauded at least three victim companies, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of luxury and designer items, and then sold those stolen items online," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

If convicted, Horn could spend up to 50 years in federal prison, according to the Justice Department: 20 years maximum for the mail fraud charge, 20 years maximum for the wire fraud charge and 10 years maximum for the charge of interstate transportation of stolen property.