“Last week, samples from Marc Jacobs’ upcoming spring collection were stolen while en route from Paris to London, sending the company into a tailspin as they cancelled editor previews and offered a reward for the return of the garments. Now, over $400,000 worth of Jacobs-designed Louis Vuitton products have been stolen from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport.
Oh, and did we mention that Jacobs has officially turned down the offer of head designer at Dior? . . .” –Racked.com
THE LEGAL TALK
The average business owner faces numerous challenges on any given day in operating a successful business. For fashion design entrepreneurs, the challenges increase significantly when shipments of goods are involved, whether interstate or internationally. Therefore, it goes without saying that you should have a good shipping insurance, when shipping goods, to cover any mishaps i.e. loss or damage to your goods should they occur.
Further, designers, make security a key part of your business operations. This begins with persons you hire to work for you. In addition, guard crucial information closely. Do not be complacent about protecting the integrity and custody of information pertaining to shipment of merchandize. Also, pay careful attention to third parties you select to help with your supply chain logistics. Finally, do use the latest and innovative technology, where possible, so if your goods are stolen, it can easily be traced.
If you are wondering what kinds of charges could these thieves could face if caught?
GENERALLY SPEAKING, CRIMINAL CHARGES COULD INCLUDE
Grand Theft California Penal Code Section 487 : Under California criminal codes, if a theft occurs and the amount exceeds $950.00, the DA can charge a criminal defendant with grand theft. Here, with Marc Jacob & Louis Vuitton’s fashion collections, there are numerous pieces of clothing involved and each design easily exceeds $950.00. So, the DA can choose to charge several counts of grand theft reflecting the number of items stolen and their value. Alternatively, the DA can choose to just charge one count of grand theft which equals the total amount of goods stolen. For example, if the goods are worth $400,000, then it could be one count of CPC 487 totaling the $400,000.
NOTE: This particular section of the Penal Code can be charged as a wobbler. This means it could be charged as a misdemeanor crime (maximum jail time = 1yr or less) or a felony (incarceration time of 1yr or above).
OTHER RELATED CHARGES
Robbery – California Penal Code 211: Robbery is the taking away of property from a person with use of force or fear. It is a strikeable offense here in California. These means there are grave penalties if convicted for an offense such as robbery. California’s three strikes statute calls for mandatory and extended incarceration where serious criminal offenses like robbery is committed.
Burglary – California Penal Code 459 : Burglary is the entering into the dwelling place/ structure/property of another with the intent to commit a theft or felony. The perpetrator of the crime must intend the crime at the time of entry. You do not need to break into a building, store etc. to be charged with burglary. The key here is that at the time of entry, a defendant intended to commit a theft or a felony.
When burglary takes place at a residence, then it is a strikeable offense pursuant to California’s three strikes law.
I’ll stop here for now.
For more information on the issues discussed here, contact me at http://fashionentlaw.com/contact/.
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