New York (The Verge) — Amazon sues influencer over alleged Instagram counterfeit scheme trib.al/p3jY5QQ.
An Instagram influencer used her massive following to sell counterfeit luxury goods from brands like Gucci and Dior, according to a new lawsuit filed by Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit.
In its complaint, Amazon describes the scheme as “a sophisticated campaign of false advertising for the purpose of evading Amazon’s counterfeit detection tools.”
The complaint centers on a Long Island woman named Kelly Fitzpatrick who operated the now-defunct @styleeandgrace Instagram account exploring what she called the “world of dupes.” Investigators say they purchased 12 different counterfeit items through Fitzpatrick (eight Gucci, four Dior), who typically advertised items on Instagram and directed followers to an Amazon link for the final purchase.
Fitzpatrick didn’t make or ship the counterfeits herself; that fell to a range of Chinese companies, many of which are named as co-defendants. Fitzpatrick would receive payment through Amazon’s affiliate program, which gives influencers and websites (including this one) a small percentage of purchases that they refer. Fitzpatrick was eventually banned from the program after being linked to counterfeit listings. She launched multiple other accounts attempting to evade the ban but was unsuccessful. — Russell Brandom/@verge