Woman accused of stealing designer clothes from multiple rental websites, reselling them online

WTVD logo
Thursday, February 15, 2024
Woman accused of stealing designer clothes from rental websites
Forget "renting" the runway. A woman in Michigan is accused of "stealing" it.

A Michigan woman allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of designer clothes from rental companies and then resold them online, according to federal prosecutors.

Brandalene Horn, 42, was arrested Wednesday in Freeland, Michigan, on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.

According to a criminal complaint, Horn defrauded at least three subscription-based clothing rental companies between April 2022 and February 2024. Those services allow customers to access and rent from the companies' inventory of apparel and accessories, including luxury and designer items.

Authorities say Horn opened hundreds of accounts with those companies, rented pieces worth thousands of dollars, refused to return them and then sold them online.

Sometimes, Horn's' listings for the stolen items used the companies' proprietary photographs and descriptions, the complaint said.

An image of Horn's listing for a stolen designer dress on an e-commerce marketplace (Photo provided by DOJ)
An image of a listing by one of the victim companies for the same designer dress (Image provided by the DOJ)

The companies attempted to charge Horn for the items she stole, but she avoided those charges by disputing them with her credit union or canceling the credit and debit cards she had provided to the victim companies, the complaint said.

During this period, Horn is accused of stealing more than 1,000 items, valued at over $823,000, from the victim companies and selling over $750,000 worth of stolen items.