Charged with estafa (swindling) is one Kristine Marjorie dela Cruz, owner of Penderi Boutique in Laging Hands, Quezon City.
The case was filed based on recommendations of Assistant City Prosecutor Ralph Cataquiz after finding probable cause to indict dela Cruz in court.
The case involves the sale of 8.5 million pesos worth a fake Hermes bags to just one of her customers. The transactions involved a total of 16 Hermes Birkin bags, but only two of the 16 were authentic.
The plaintiff said she and her sister went to the boutique where they met Dela Cruz who assured them of the genuineness of the bags.
The respondent further assured her that the bags she was selling were from a “main supplier,” who according to her “belonged to the upper class of society.”
In all more than 20 bags were part of a huge list of transactions between the plaintiff and dela Cruz over the course of two years. In the end 16 bags were purchased for a total of 9,140,000 pesos – not including the earlier purchases.
In July 2013, a friend of the complainant noticed the bag she was carrying had some signs of being fake which prompted her to consult several bag experts.
She also sought opinion from Hermes France wherein the latter had confirmed that 14 of the 16 bags she purchased from Dela Cruz were fake.
In their joint counter-affidavit, Dela Cruz and her co-respondents denied the allegations, saying it was impossible for the complainant to have purchased the bags from the boutique because during such time, the corporation did not exist.
Prosecutor Cataquiz, however, ruled that Dela Cruz defrauded complainant by delivering her the subject 14 fake Hermes bags to her prejudice in the amount of 8,595,000 pesos.