Alleged fraudster made bank selling $823k worth of luxury rental stuff

It's free money, Poshers! A woman in Michigan figured out that you could "rent" items from places cheaply and sell them elsewhere for a higher price. And she coined it in, prosecutors say, creating accounts on luxury rental websites and flogging $823,000 worth of goods. The only wrinkle in the plan is these danged criminal charges.

Brandalene Horn, 42, was charged with mail fraud, fraud and transporting stolen property. As alleged in the complaint (PDF):

From at least April 2022 through at least February 2024, HORN engaged in a fraud scheme that involved opening hundreds of accounts with at least three victim companies that offer subscription-based clothing rental services.  Those services enable customers to access and rent from the companies' inventory of apparel and accessories, including luxury and designer items.  After receiving rental items, including pieces worth thousands of dollars, HORN kept, instead of returned, the items from the victim companies and sold them on an e-commerce marketplace.  HORN's listings for the stolen items on the e-commerce marketplace often used the victim companies' proprietary photographs and item descriptions that substantially matched the descriptions used by the victim companies. 

Although the victim companies attempted to charge HORN for the items she stole, HORN avoided those charges by disputing them with her credit union or canceling the credit and debit cards she had provided to the victim companies.  HORN's fraudulent activity caused the victim companies to flag or close her accounts, but HORN opened new accounts so she could continue stealing and selling luxury and designer goods.

Do you have an $800k side hustle selling rented clothes online? Tell us in the comments!

Previously: "Helicopter Glamping" resort set to open in 2024