Luxury Handbag Designer Jailed For Wildlife Smuggling

A luxury handbag designer has been jailed after pleading guilty to smuggling purses made of the skins of protected reptiles, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nancy Teresa Gonzalez de Barberi, found of the luxury handbag company Gzuniga, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday for illegally importing merchandise from Colombia to the United States that was made from protected wildlife, authorities said.

Mauricio Giraldo, an associate of Gonzalez, was also sentenced to prison, according to the Department of Justice.

“Gzuniga was ordered to forfeit all handbags and other previously seized product, banned for three years from any activities involving commercial trade in wildlife and sentenced to serve three years of probation,” officials said.

“Gonzalez was sentenced to 18 months in prison with credit for time served, a supervised release of three years and to pay a special assessment. Giraldo was sentenced to time served, approximately 22 months based on incarceration in Colombia and the United States since his extradition, a year of supervised release and to pay a special assessment.”

Another co-conspirator, John Camilo Aguilar Jaramillo, had previously pleaded guilty on April 8 and is set to be sentenced on June 27, authorities said.