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Police arrest Simpson assistant imposter

Woman amasses more than $12,000 in freebies posing as star's aide
/ Source: The Associated Press

An East Rutherford woman has been accused by authorities of amassing more than $12,000 in free merchandise by claiming she was Jessica Simpson's assistant.

Courtney Handel, 23, was arrested Friday. By Sunday, she had been released from East Rutherford police headquarters, where she had been detained. Police said she faces charges of theft by deception, fraud and trademark infringement.

Police said Handel sent e-mails and faxes to companies posing as Simpson assistant CaCee Cobb.

Simpson, 25, stars as Daisy Duke in the upcoming "The Dukes of Hazzard" film.

Handel told the companies the singer-actress had expressed interest in their products. But she used her own address, and when police detectives arrived Friday, they said they found her home full of merchandise.

"As we were standing outside, UPS pulled up with 12 more packages. We turned to each other and said, ‘If only all our cases could be this easy,'" Detective Sgt. Jeff Yannaconi told the New York Daily News.

Frye boots, PH Advantage cosmetics, Pagliei jewelry, Ted Rossi handbags, Peter Thomas Roth skin care products and Fake Bake tanning products were among the items, police said.

Police were arranging to return the products to the companies.