A Bay Area woman was arrested on Monday on suspicion of importing roughly $50,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics from Asia and trying to sell them.
The suspect, who remains unidentified, lived in San Jose and was taken into custody by special agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations. Agents were tipped off to the suspect’s activities due to multiple shipments from someone they know to be a counterfeit exporter based in Asia, according to a statement.
While searching her house, agents uncovered a cache of fake products, including Kylie lipsticks, Too Faced eyeshadow palettes, Mac eyeshadows, Kat Von D lipsticks, and Chi hair straighteners, a photo revealed. The risk associated with such products is that they can contain cyanide, arsenic, mercury and other hazardous substances, the statement said.
The suspect could be charged with selling counterfeit goods, which comes with a $500,000 fine and up to three years in prison.
“Counterfeit cosmetics can pose a serious risk to consumers’ health as they often contain unregulated ingredients,” said Ryan Spradlin, a special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in San Francisco.
He continued: “Those who conduct the illegal import and sale of these items are doing so with complete disregard for public safety.”