TAMPA — Homeland Security agents have been keeping America safe from bad makeup.
Lipstick bombs? Anthrax blush? Try counterfeit MAC.
Tina Oleszczuk, 44, of New Port Richey faces up to 10 years in prison after admitting in a plea agreement filed Tuesday that she sold at least $961,744 worth of knock-off MAC products made in China and packaged to resemble the real thing.
MAC, short for Make-up Art Cosmetics, is a subsidiary of Estée Lauder Cosmetics. Products are sold at department stores and free-standing MAC shops at high-end malls such as International Plaza.
Oleszczuk sold the fakes through an online company, Cozmetic Delights, as well as through eBay and directly to some wholesale customers, her signed plea agreement states.
Meanwhile, her website promised, "All cosmetics sold from Cozmetic Delights are 100% authentic and genuine and there are absolutely no imitations."
Oleszczuk and her company were criminally charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods.
From April 2012 to February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized 4,060 fake MAC items worth $17,072 that were mailed to Oleszczuk, her family members or neighbors, the plea agreement states.
Homeland Security Investigations agents made purchases of $38 and $107 through Cozmetic Delights before questioning Oleszczuk and her husband, Robert, who were both listed in corporate records as managing members of the company.
No charges against the husband appear in the court file.
Tina Oleszczuk acknowledged that she had received customs notices informing her that counterfeit goods had been seized and that she had used alternate mailing addresses to stop the seizures, the record states.
Homeland Security agents found invoices reflecting $961,744.75 in sales. They also found bank records showing nearly $1.4 million in deposits to a Cozmetic Delights account.
Under terms of the agreement, Oleszczuk would be responsible for repaying MAC the lesser amount, though U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore would have the final say. Before that can happen, Oleszczuk will likely appear before a magistrate judge to formalize her plea.
Contact Patty Ryan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3382.