It’s a fashionista’s dream scheme.

A clever con artist hatched an inventive plot to fuel her luxury handbag obsession — swindling more than $1 million by buying designer purses from department stores, then returning knockoffs.

A judge sentenced Praepitcha Smatsorabudh, 41, of Arlington, to 30 months in prison last week — and even he was impressed by her plot.

“I think what you did was ingenious,” Judge Gerald Bruce Lee said, according to The Washington Post.

“It’s just stealing, but the Internet has given us so many more ways to steal. … I thought I’d seen everything.”

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For years, Smatsorabudh bought pricy handbags from luxury designers like Gucci, Burberry and Fendi off of department store websites.

She’d then show up to the stores in-person to return realistic fakes that she’d specially ordered from China and Hong Kong, federal authorities said.

“The best fake bag I’ve ever seen! Can you send me more … from this factory. They make bag IMPaCABLE!!!!” [sic],” Smatsorabudh wrote in a Sept. 2014 email to a bogus handbag supplier.

But the scheme didn’t stop after she pocketed the refund.

Smatsorabudh turned around and sold many of the authentic handbags, some worth over $2,000, through eBay or Instagram.

Her Instagram account, called “richgirlscollection,” is littered with photos of designer bags, along with snapshots of sushi and pastries.

While Smatsorabudh typically returned replicas of the high-end bags she’d bought, in at least one instance she altered an online receipt so she could return an entirely different bag.

In Dec. 2015, an undercover Homeland Security agent posed as an eBay customer and purchased a $2,575 Celine handbag from her.

They traced the handbag back to T.J. Maxx, and discovered she’d doctored the Celine receipt so much that she was able to return a Fendi purse instead and collect a $2,199.99 refund.

All told, Smatsorabudh hit more than 60 stores across 12 states, scamming Neiman Marcus and T.J. Maxx out of over $400,000, the US Department of Justice said.

At point, she even became T.J. Maxx’s biggest online customer in the world.

In March, the feds raided her Arlington home and discovered 572 handbags, both real and fake, court papers say. She pleaded guilty to wire fraud in August.

The con artist was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, and she must pay $403,250.81 in restitution and the same amount in forfeiture. She will likely be deported back to Thailand after her prison stint.

“What I did was so wrong,” she said in court. “I deserve to be in jail.


  1. A because she a go so hard why dem start pree her! If she did a tek it easy dem wouldn’t pick up pon har!

    What a thing though!

  2. This is very interesting, so lots of people end up with fake merchandise purchase from high end stores. I don’t think she is the only person doing this type of thing.

  3. If she was a black woman returning high end items on a regular basis she would not get away with it. We r automatically labeled as thieves (all when we are honest law abiding citizens) good fi dem, a nuh we alone thief

    1. They would have inspected the bags more carefully had she been black.
      There are some tell tell signs between genuine and fake designer bags so since this lady was able to do it over and over this tells me the stores didn’t inspect the bags.
      Should have been a red flag when she was paying for everything with cash.

  4. TK Apple Robbers all of dem next
    Apple never go to Jamaica with Jicon so she can adjust the rubber band when him not notice it turn round

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