Valley woman admits selling counterfeit cosmetics

FRESNO, Calif.

Court documents show undercover agents gathered enough evidence over several months to figure out what Crystal Gray was selling was fake. We spoke with Gray over the phone. She didn't want to comment on camera but she was very upset following her day in court.

Investigators say 32 year-old Gray ran a business for over a year duping her customers into thinking she was selling high-end make-up. "What she was doing was purchasing what she knew were counterfeit makeup items from an overseas website," said prosecutor, Henry Carbajal.

Carbarjal says Gray bought knock-off "MAC" products at much cheaper prices. Gray lives in Orosi but Carbajal said she used social medial websites like Craigslist and MySpace to turn an illegal profit. "She would advertise the products on the website and people would contact her and she would set up a house party with a group of people and at the house party she would sell to groups of people," he added.

Detectives believe Gray also posed as a MAC cosmetics distributor. She would reel her customers in with slashed sale prices. "She would give the host of the party either free items or a discount," said Carbajal.

On Monday Gray pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom. Make-up experts say she could have harmed her customers' health with the fake cosmetics. "You can get all kinds of things; you can get contact dermatitis which is an allergic reaction. Some products can cause you to break out and can cause scarring," said make-up artist, Jennifer Nicole.

Gray could face a maximum of 10 years in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

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