Home » Nancy González, the Colombian designer sentenced to 18 months in prison in the US for smuggling bags made of protected animal skin

Nancy González, the Colombian designer sentenced to 18 months in prison in the US for smuggling bags made of protected animal skin

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Nancy González, the Colombian designer sentenced to 18 months in prison in the US for smuggling bags made of protected animal skin

Renowned Colombian designer Nancy González sentenced to 18 months in prison for wildlife smuggling

The Colombian bag designer Nancy González has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in the United States for crimes related to the smuggling of leather goods made from the skins of exotic and endangered animals. The South Florida district court ruling came after González was extradited to the United States on August 30 and pleaded guilty in November.

In addition to the prison sentence, González has been ordered to hand over all handbags and products seized from her and has been banned from wildlife trading for three years. The United States Department of Justice revealed that the 70-year-old designer was linked to smuggling operations from February 2016 to April 2019.

González’s luxurious handbags, which cost thousands of dollars, were sold in prestigious fashion stores around the world, including Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Harrods in London, and Galeries Lafayette in Paris. She had an impressive list of celebrity clients, including Mexican actress Salma Hayek, designer Victoria Beckham, and singer Britney Spears. Her bags even appeared in movies and TV shows, such as “Devil Wears Prada” and “Sex & the City.”

The arrest of González, who was a highly recognized representative of Colombian fashion abroad in the 1990s and 2000s, caused a stir in Colombia. The case was escalated to the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice, which endorsed her extradition in February 2023.

González’s lawyer, Jaime Lombana, had stated that his client would cooperate with the US Justice Department to clarify the case. In addition to the 18-month prison sentence, which includes credit for time served, González will have to pay a fine, the amount of which was not specified. One of the co-conspirators, Mauricio Giraldo, has been released after serving 22 months in prison.

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The designer’s fall from grace serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of illegal wildlife trafficking in the fashion industry.

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