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I was working with a woman selling cosmetics. She had given me an amount of items to sell. It wasn’t until after I had received the items that I found out they were counterfeit cosmetics. Now since I won’t sell them and have gotten rid of them from my possession, I still owe the woman for what she gave me. She is threatening to take me to small claims court for these counterfeit items. Does she have a leg to stand on? Also, I should include that I signed a handwritten paper saying I received items with the intent to make myself money. No time frame was agreed on. No dollar amount was agreed on. Just that I had received products.

Asked on July 1, 2018 under Business Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) You are not criminally liable, since you did not have an intent to commit a crime: criminal liability is based on not just doing a criminal act, but also having an intent to commit a crime. If you did not know the items were counterfeit when you first agreed to sell them, you had no criminal intent.
2) An agreement to commit a crime is unenforceable, as is any agreement against the law. It is illegal to sell counterfeit items and the agreement between you was that you would receive to sell the authentic items. Therefore, were she to sue you, you could raise as a defense that the items were counterfeit. If you don't have them, however, you may have some difficulty proving that defense without samples of them or other evidence.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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