UPDATE: The owners of a consignment shop in Mobile have struck a deal with the feds over the illegal sale of a jaguar fur coat
The shop owners agreed to plead guilty and pay an $8,000 fine after an undercover officer got the shop to deliver the coat from their store in Mobile to Biloxi, Mississippi, which is against Federal law and the Endangered Species Act.
The incident happened at Hertha’s Second Edition on Old Shell Road in the Springhill community.
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) – Shop owners are calling this all a mistake, after an undercover agent asked them to bring the coat to Biloxi, crossing state lines.
Hertha’s is an upscale resale shop with locations in Mobile and Fairhope. They’ve been in business for over 20 years, winning the Nappie award every year for best consignment. But now, they’re in the news for a different reason.
“We have a consignment shop run by these nice ladies here that I refer to as Arsenic and Old Lace,” says Attorney Jeff Deen.
Deen teases the owners about the situation, but what they’re calling a mistake could have serious implications.
“They inadvertently sold jacket or coat that’s 47 years old that violates the endangered species act if it sold across state lines. So them having it in their store wasn’t illegal, it was here in Alabama ,” says Jeff Deen.
Deen says the buyer was an undercover officer and called the shop asking them to bring the coat to them in Biloxi, luring them across state lines.
The two could now face a fine of up to $100,000 and a year in jail.
Meanwhile, the store remains open and continues to do well.
“They’re very sorry this happened, they’re not shirking, they’re saying yes our company shouldn’t have sold it, it’s a solely owned company, they are admitting it was a mistake,” says Deen.
The two will be in court August 8th and will find out then if they have to pay a fine and spend time in jail. Meanwhile, they say this isn’t how they normally do business.