Saks Fifth Avenue Workers Accused Of Running Identity Theft Ring That Made $400K

While the idea of working in close proximity to luxury goods bearing designer tags might make the average shopper simply drool and move along, authorities say the temptation of all those high-priced bags and shoes simply proved too great for some Saks Fifth Avenue employees.

Federal authorities pitched in to help local New York City law enforcement to charge five employees of the upscale department store’s flagship location with stealing customer information and then using that to pave the way to ill-gotten gains, reports the New York Daily News.

Officials with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office say the accused ringleader of the gang swiped customer information from about 50 people, then instructed four sales associates to use that to buy up designer bags and shoes in the store and then sell those items on the black market.

In other cases, she’d tell them to buy fancy items from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and more, and then had them return the goods at the store for gift cards that were then resold.

All told, authorities said the ring made about $400,000 off the alleged scheme. At some point, Saks security realized something was iffy and called the authorities, who were assisted by the Secret Service and Homeland Security in the investigation.

But if you’re worried your information might have fallen into the wrong hands, it’s unlikely.

“This was not a mass stealing of identification as we have heard about in stories like Target and others,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.. “These were pinpointed attempts on individual accounts.”

The ringleader was charged with identity theft, scheming to defraud, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and other charges, while her alleged accomplices were charged with similar crimes.

Saks Fifth Avenue employees busted in identity theft ring [New York Daily News]