UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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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.
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