‘California Girls’ Crime Ring Busted

(TheIndependentStar.com) – Underscoring that not every American mom is an honest and respectable citizen, a California mom of three is accused of being involved in an elaborate crime ring and being responsible for stealing nearly $8 million worth of cosmetics to sell online for profit.

According to authorities, 53-year-old Michelle Mack orchestrated this operation from her lavish $2.75 million, 4,500-square-foot home in the San Diego foothills.

Mack allegedly recruited up to 12 women to steal from stores such as Ulta, T.J. Maxx, and Walgreens nationwide. She then stockpiled the stolen items and resold them on her Amazon storefront at a fraction of their retail value.

CNBC reported that the “California Girls,” the alleged ring members, crossed the California coast and 10 other states, where they executed hundreds of thefts on Mack’s orders.

Homeland Security investigators remarked that Mack’s alleged crime ring is just one among many that afflict retailers in the country as they deal with significant losses due to theft each year.

Police recovered nearly 10,000 items worth over $387,000 after raiding Mack’s luxe Spanish-style estate in December. Additionally, they stumbled upon what they described as a “mini store” teeming with beauty products, sunglasses, and designer bags in Mack’s garage.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed 140 felony charges against Mack, her husband Kenneth Mack, and seven other alleged accomplices. The charges ranged from conspiracy to commit organized retail theft to grand theft and receipt of stolen property.

“This is a multimillion-dollar criminal scheme. It was complex. It was orchestrated,” Bonta remarked when she announced the charges. We are not talking about garden-variety shoplifting.”

Court documents also revealed incriminating text exchanges between Mack, her husband, and some of the other accused women.

In one instance, defendant Kimora Lee Gooding messaged Mack about filling her bag quickly with stolen items. Mack later communicated with her husband and acknowledged successful sales even without certain merchandise.

The group targeted various retailers including Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Prada, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Luxottica’s Sunglass Hut, and LensCrafters, prosecutors stated.

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