By Jung Min-ho
A fashion influencer has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for making and selling fake products in what is a rare heavy penalty for a case related to intellectual property crimes.
The Daejon District Court convicted the woman, Thursday, of playing a key role in producing and selling some 20,000 counterfeit items, from 58 luxury brands, such as Chanel and Time. The court also levied a fine of 20 million won ($15,400) and ordered the confiscation of criminal proceeds of 2.43 billion won.
The woman, 34, whose identity is being withheld, was the central figure in the network that she built in cooperation with her staff and the manufacturers of fashion items in Korea and overseas.
From November 2020, when demand for luxury items was rising amid pandemic border restrictions, she had counterfeit clothes, shoes and other goods produced and sold them to customers by using her popularity. She was the operator of a popular blog that she eventually expanded into an online shopping platform.
The woman, who had already been convicted of similar offenses, was arrested in September for breaking Korea’s design protection act. It was the first case in which a suspected violator of that law was arrested.
“She infringed on the intellectual property rights of trademark owners and disrupted the trade order, and she did so deliberately in an organized way with multiple staff, which she hired,” Judge Cha Ho-sung said.