Homeland Security busts San Jose woman for selling $100K in fake makeup

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- At first glance, her products appear to be the real deal.

"You can kind of tell, sometimes, when it's fake, you know, but for the glow kit, it looked exactly the same, like the same packaging," said Joseline Elguea, a San Jose Resident.

But a closer look reveals a disturbing discovery: counterfeit makeup, intended for sale in the Bay Area.

"It's shameful, and it's really too bad that somebody has to resort to something like that," said Mandy, a San Jose resident.

The kits are just a fraction of what was seized from a San Jose woman's home on Halloween. Special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security investigations team say the woman, who has not been identified, had been selling counterfeit products for several months at the very least.

"We do target those organizations that are involved in the global trafficking of counterfeit goods, because of the threat it poses both to the U.S. consumer, and to U.S. industries," said Jeffrey Brannigan, a Homeland Security.

Investigators say the total value seized in this case could be close to $100,000 worth of product. The suspect had received multiple shipments from a known counterfeit exporter in Asia.

"There's potential for a health risk, or a safety risk, because we don't know what chemicals and products are used," added Branigan.

Local beauty customers aren't amused by the fake stuff.

"Talk about a rash, I mean, you could break out, it could get into your pores, it can get into your blood stream, and that's really dangerous," said mandy.

Charges have yet to be filed, but the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office says the case is under review.

The fake items include lipstick products like Kylie Jenner's famed Lip Kits, Kat Von D branded contouring palettes and Too Faced cosmetics eye shadow palettes. Her haul also included hair styling products, eye shadow, eye liner as well as electronic curlers and straighteners.

Most of the products can fetch high prices in Sephora makeup stores.
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