Department of Justice

A Mountain Grove businesswoman has pleaded guilty in federal court to smuggling counterfeit Louis Vuitton material into the United States so that she could make and sell counterfeit merchandise on her website.

Tonya Virtue waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of smuggling goods into the country.

According to a press release, Virtue admitted she sold approximately $50,000 worth of counterfeit Louis Vuitton items through her online store, Soul Sisters, to customers throughout the country. Virtue received shipments of fabric and material affixed with counterfeit Louis Vuitton trademarks and logos from an overseas Chinese manufacturer between Jan. 1 and Sept. 27, 2017. Virtue created counterfeit handbags, purses and other items from the counterfeit fabric, which she sold to consumers who believed they were purchasing items created by Louis Vuitton.

Under the terms of her plea agreement, Virtue must forfeit to the government $50,000 derived from the proceeds of the criminal scheme as well as multiple Louis Vuitton items, including 34 shoulder bags, duffle bags, wallets, sheets and boxes.

Virtue owns a photography business, Tonya Virtue Photography, and Soul Sisters, which sells handbags, blankets and other gift items. Virtue has also worked in real estate and marketing, according to her personal website. She ran the SCA Sports Zone covering area football teams, including Houston High School, for two seasons.

Under federal statutes, Virtue is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

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