California Mom Implicated in Massive Shoplifting Scheme

A woman from San Diego County has been charged with participating in a large-scale, ten-year theft operation that targeted more than 200 establishments in many states. On December 6, 2023, authorities arrested Michelle Mack and her husband, Kenneth Mack, at their 4,500-square-foot house in California. More information is now available that helps explain how the pair ran the purportedly illegal business for so long before being discovered.

Mack and her husband were first brought to the attention of law enforcement when CNBC, which at the time was conducting an investigation into organized retail crime rings spanning nearly eight months, alerted them to unusual activity on an Amazon storefront known as “The Online Makeup Store.” The store purportedly offered high-end makeup products from Tarte, Mac, and Charlotte Tilbury at a fraction of the normal cost.

Numerous favorable evaluations were left about the storefront itself. However, the extremely low pricing raised suspicions that the items may be stolen since they were too good to be true.

Following the initiation of an investigation, police arrived at Michelle Mack’s residence. Along the road, they learned that although the things she had advertised on Amazon had been taken from stores like Ulta, Sephora, and Bloomingdale’s, she hadn’t done the swiping herself. Mack, however, employed a minimum of twelve young ladies to promote the products on her behalf.

Mack was said to be the ringleader, choosing which establishments to target and organizing the thefts ahead of time. The girls would enter the place using their Louis Vuitton bags to avoid suspicion, fill their purses with the merchandise, and then send Mack’s house the looted goods. According to records, the Macks, who started their business in 2012, have sold $8 million in total over the last 12 years, with over $2 million coming in only 2022.

In the end, late last year, police were able to secure a search warrant for Michelle Mack’s residence. They found about $300,000 worth of stolen goods inside, along with communications between Mack and her husband that appeared to be damning. They openly acknowledged their misdeeds in these texts.

Not long afterward, California Attorney General Rob Bonta brought over 140 charges against Mack and the other members of her staff. A long variety of felonies, such as grand theft, organized retail theft, conspiracy, and receipt of stolen items, are being brought against the organization.




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