Street Style - Mercedes-Benz Madrid Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2016/2017
Getty Images

Woman Receives 30 Months In Prison After Making $1 Million By Returning Fake Designer Bags

One woman's need for the finer things in life has landed her in prison.

One woman's need for the finer things in life has landed her in prison. According to the Washington Post, Praepitcha Smatsorabudh's knack for selling and returning knockoff designer bags warranted her 30 months behind bars for wire fraud. The Thailand native would purchase designer bags from major department stores, but return its fake resemblance to outlets like T.J. Maxx, that claimed she was the brand's "biggest online customer in the world."

Between her return trips to the aforementioned retailer and Neiman Marcus, the stores endured a $400,000 loss due to fake merchandise. Customers on the former preschool teacher's Instagram page were also sold false items where she raked in thousands of dollars in profits. According to her attorney, Nina Ginsberg, the 41-year-old's addiction to this practice stemmed from her abusive upbringing in Thailand.

"This whole collecting of these handbags, returning of these handbags -- it became a substitute for human connection, which I think is profoundly sad," Ginsberg said. "I think it was brought on by ... extreme bouts of loneliness and isolation."

Smatsorabudh purchased bags from brands' websites including Gucci, Balenciaga, and Fendi, New York Post reports, but would arrive at various stores to return its fake likeness  -- which arrived from East Asia -- and receive upwards of $2,000. She was caught after an investigator assumed the role of an eBay customer and bought a Celine bag from her account. The bag along with the receipt was traced back to a T.J. Maxx store where they realized Smatsorabudh falsified the online receipt. T.J. Maxx discovered 226 fake bags were returned by Smatsorabudh.

During a raid of her Arlington, Va. home, 572 authentic and fake handbags were uncovered. Smatsorabudh will now have to pay $403,250.81 in restitution and might get deported to Thailand upon her release.

Judge Gerald Bruce Lee was taken aback by Smatsorabudh's case. "I think what you did was ingenious," he said. "It's just stealing, but the Internet has given us so many more ways to steal ... I thought I'd seen everything."

From the Web

More on Vibe

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

The Rock Pays Tribute To His Late Father Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson's father was his hero.

The Jumanji star paid emotional tribute to his late father, WWE hall of famer, Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson, in wake of the 75-year-old former wrestler's sudden death last week.

“I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way through this world,” Dwayne wrote last Friday (Jan. 17). “I was the boy sitting in the seat, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar.

“Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. I’m in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally,I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease.”

“I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son,” he wrote in closing.

In an additional post thanking fans for their support, Dwayne revealed that his father died from a “massive heart attack,” brought on by a blood clot.

Rocky was born in Canada on Aug. 24, 1944. He began wrestling at 16 years old, and launched his professional wrestling career a few years later. Following his pro debut, the then budding wrestler legally changed his name from Wayde Douglas Bowles to his wrestling moniker, “Rocky Johnson.”

Over his career Rocky earned numerous championships, including the National Wrestling Alliance Georgia Champion, and a NWA Southern Heavyweight Memphis Champions.

He joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1969 and formed “The Soul Patrol” with wrestling partner, Tony Atlas. The duo made history as the WWF’s first ever black World Tag Team champions.

Following his retirement in the ‘80s, Rocky began training his son, Dwayne, who went on to joint the WWF as “The Rock,” a nod to his father’s name. Besides Dwayne, the wrestling legend also had two older children, a daughter, Wanda, and son, Curtis.

Read Dwayne's full post below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson 🐐

A post shared by therock (@therock) on Jan 17, 2020 at 8:01am PST

Continue Reading
Harry How/Getty Images

Delonte West's Recent Video Draws Swift Reaction From Former Coach Phil Martelli

Recently, a video of former NBA player Delonte West appeared on various social media accounts, showing a detained West who appeared to be distressed. The visual prompted reactions from West's college basketball coach Phil Martelli and his teammate at that time, Jameer Nelson, ESPN reports.

"Over the past several hours I have talked with many who are willing to help—please read and embrace Jameer's wisdom—we are reaching out to our basketball network to get the progressional help Delonte needs," Martelli said. "This is so very painful." In the video, West says someone with a gun approached him and physically assaulted him.

Over the past several hours I have talked with many who are willing to help - please read and embrace Jameer’s wisdom - we are reaching out to our basketball network to get the professional help Delonte needs. This is so very painful. https://t.co/8IAuTdzCc9

— Phil Martelli (@PhilMartelli) January 21, 2020

In an interview with TMZ, West's agent Aaron Goodwin said the former Dallas Maverick's family is supporting him as well as the NBA. In 2016, West was checked in to a medical facility to treat his mental health. Since being drafted to the NBA in 2004 by the Boston Celtics, West has played for teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Dallas Mavericks.

Continue Reading
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Warner Music

Nipsey Hussle Tribute At The Grammys To Feature Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch And More

On Sunday (Jan. 26), a group of artists will gather on stage to pay tribute to one of music's pivotal figures. The 62nd Grammy Awards will host a tribute to Nipsey Hussle, who's posthumously nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance ("Higher") and Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance ("Racks In The Middle)." In 2019, Hussle's debut album, Victory Lap, was nominated for Best Rap Album.

The tribute will feature appearances by YG, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, John Legend, and Kirk Franklin. In a statement, the showcase's executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, noted that it was a unanimous decision to honor the fallen lyricist.

"An activist, entrepreneur and rapper, Nipsey Hussle had a lasting impact on not just his community, but also the culture at large. There is no denying the influence he had and his legacy will be felt for generations to come," Ehrlich said. "We are honored to bring together this amazing group of artists to celebrate Nipsey's life and pay tribute to his many contributions to music. It's sure to be a memorable performance."

On March 31, it'll mark a year since Hussle was murdered outside of his LA-based store, Marathon Clothing. Eric Holder, the suspect, was indicted by a grand jury in May for "one count of murder, two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon," a press release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office reads.

The Grammys will air on CBS on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. EST.

Continue Reading

Top Stories