|Andary Pleads No Contest To Lesser Charge|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2013 00:00|
A felony charge of trademark counterfeiting against the owner of Urban Ava Boutique was reduced Jan. 31 in a Miami County court as part of a plea deal.
Kelley Andary pleaded no contest and was found guilty of a minor misdemeanor of disorderly conduct in Municipal Court.
The charge, originally a fifth degree felony, was filed after Tipp City police seized counterfeit Tory Burch bags, wallets and purses during a Nov. 9 search of the downtown store. Police said the search followed a citizen complaint.
Andary was ordered to pay a $50 fine and court costs, have no like offense and to forfeit all property seized by police.
The search warrant inventory filed by police with the court showed 76 items were seized from the store’s back room, from the front room display and from the front room/display window.
The estimated value of the property is approximately $15,000, Detective Sgt. Chris Graham said. Police will request the property be destroyed, which would require court approval, he said.
Andary did not respond to a request for comment.
David Caldwell, Tipp City prosecutor, said the charge was reduced as part of the agreement in which Andary forfeited the property.
“Everybody was happy with the resolution,” Caldwell said. He said Andary is involved in philanthropic efforts in the community and “she took responsibility.”
Andary said following the search that she bought the bags at the same Atlanta wholesale mall where she has shopped for her boutique for several years. She said boutiques and stores of every kind go to the Americasmart - three, 15-story buildings where wholesalers rent space to sell to retailers - to purchase wholesale items.
Other store owners also were buying the bags and the seller, who was offering only that product, explained that he obtained the bags with slight defects and had the interiors finished by an individual before offering them for sale, Andary said.
When customers came into the store, they were told those details about the bags, she said.
She said she did not sell many of the bags, and was willing to give people their money back.
The police report detailed interviews with Andary, store employees and customers. It outlined contradictory statements such as the employee who unknowingly sold the fake purse to the officer saying the item was authentic. Another employee said she knew the items were not authentic and she intended to tell customers they were “either irregular or that they were slightly modified.”
One customer said she had no idea the items were not authentic and that she would not have bought a $99 wallet if she had known it was a fake. Another customer said she was told that the shell of the purse was authentic, but the inside was not. She chose to buy a wallet and handbag anyway because she thought it was a good deal, the customer told investigators.