₱500-million "Hermes Birkin bag scam" fleeces art gallery director, alleges it was done by woman who worked for another art gallery

In the recent  Sunday, July 1, edition of The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Cheche V. Moral wrote about the curious case of the Hermes Birkin bag scam which involved some unidentified Metro Manila denizens. Moral wrote: "The names have been changed pending the filing of the case in court. Nate met Sheila (not their real names) in 2004 through his friend Jack, who owns an art gallery. Nate is the gallery director in a Manila university owned by his family. A former flight attendant who had taken a break from work when she married and had children, Sheila had just started working at Jack's gallery."

 

To cut a long story short, Shiela was eventually promoted as managing director of the art gallery she worked for. Moral quoted Nate, who claimed that along with her promotion and entry into the world of the moneyed class, Shiela developed expensive tastes. Moral noted: "Nate and Sheila's friendship developed into a business relationship. It all started smooth and harmless. Nate would travel to Europe with his partner Tom, and Sheila would ask him to buy a few designer bags to sell her ’clients.’"

 

Then came the Birkin deal, wherein, according to the report, Sheila asked Nate if he had ₱2 million for a crocodile Birkin. She claimed that the expected profit was a cool ₱200,000. The deal didn’t happen. Moral revealed: "Looking back, Nate believes the ₱2 million was intended to pay off checks issued investors that were due for payment. At the time, he didn't suspect yet that anything was amiss." Moral further revealed: "Sheila has not been seen or heard from since February. Nate and their friends suspect she's hiding somewhere in the U.S. Apparently, she had also fleeced many others, including her own closest friends and Nate's."

 

For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net.

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