The Courier-Mail



PARIS: A former employee of luxury goods maker Hermes has been sentenced to six years in prison, and 23 accomplice­s have been convicted of making and selling hundreds of counterfei­t versions of the company’s Birkin handbags.

“Romain C”, a leather craftsman who was tried in his absence, made tens of millions of euros as the head of a network that sold versions of the bag made with leather from Hermes’ own suppliers.

Half a dozen of the other gang members, given prison sentences or fined, were also former employees of the company, which sells its handbags for up to €20,000 ($31,000).

They are named after Jane Birkin, the British-born actress and singer. The leather goods company makes only 8500 handbags a year.

The network, which operated from 2008 to 2012, was the subject of a trial in Paris in November and December.

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