The California ‘queenpin’ accused of masterminding a nationwide $8 million ‘smash-and-grab’ operation spent time looking for a new home and catching rays at the beach before her day in court. 

Michelle Mack, 53, has been out on bail since she was charged with allegedly running a gang called the ‘California girls’ that operated in more than a dozen states and targeted Sephora, Ulta, Bloomingdales and other cosmetic and luxury brand stores. 

Mack then resold the stolen goods on her Amazon page, according to court documents obtained by DailyMail.com.

Mack was charged in February with 140 felony counts – including conspiracy to commit organized retail theft and receipt of stolen property. 

Even amid the sever financial accusations, Michelle Mack sported a pair of designer shades as she schlepped beach items to and from the family’s Tesla a day before she appeared in  San Diego court

Mack is spotted in her Tesla, sporting a Louis Vuitton clutch on her wrist

Mack is spotted in her Tesla, sporting a Louis Vuitton clutch on her wrist

Since then, she has placed her $2.75 million home in Bonsall, San Diego on the market and kept a low profile. 

On Thursday, a glum Mack and her husband, Kenneth, appeared before San Diego Superior Court Judge Dwayne K. Moring for a pretrial hearing. 

Kenneth Mack and seven others are also facing similar charges, including conspiracy to commit organized retail theft, grand theft and receipt of stolen property, for their involvement in the theft ring. 

The defendants have all pleaded not guilty.

Aseil Mohmoud, a prosecutor with the California Attorney General’s Office, said some of the defendants are seeking plea deals.

‘Your Honor, what I will say is that I’m doing my absolute best to have offers extended to everyone who has been arraigned at this point,’ Mohmoud said to the judge. ‘We are currently dealing with the matter with the Macks in terms of the sale of their home. 

She added, ‘All I can say is we will have offers to the defendants before the May 29 [court] date. I do expect a resolution will be possible at that time.’ 

The woman accused of running a multi-million dollar makeup theft gang was spotted shopping for a downsized residence ahead of her court date

The woman accused of running a multi-million dollar makeup theft gang was spotted shopping for a downsized residence ahead of her court date

Michelle Mack, 53, (right), and her husband Kenneth (left) were out this week looking distressed as they figure out their family's next move

Michelle Mack, 53, (right), and her husband Kenneth (left) were out this week looking distressed as they figure out their family’s next move

One of the other defendants – Asia Mei Drake – also appeared in court, but from behind the protective courtroom glass since she is still in custody.

Mohmoud said the Attorney General’s Office has decided to drop 12 of the charges against Drake, which the judge dismissed at Thursday’s hearing.

Another defendant, Alina Franco, also was present but remained quiet. According to prosecutors, Franco allegedly had $67,000 worth of stolen beauty products at her home in San Bernardino, Calif. when her home was raided on the same day as the Macks. 

Alleged 'California Girls' gang member Asia Mei Drake is in custody at a San Diego jail and appeared in court on May 2, 2024

Alleged ‘California Girls’ gang member Asia Mei Drake is in custody at a San Diego jail and appeared in court on May 2, 2024

Alina Franco, another alleged 'California Girls' member, also appeared in court on Thursday. She is accused of hiding $67,000 worth of stolen beauty products at her home in San Bernardino

Alina Franco, another alleged ‘California Girls’ member, also appeared in court on Thursday. She is accused of hiding $67,000 worth of stolen beauty products at her home in San Bernardino

The judge ordered the defendants not to have any contact with one another and to not enter any Ulta or Sephora stores in California. 

They also were ordered to return to court at the end of the month.

With a prospective prison sentence on the horizon and as her riches dwindle, Michelle Mack spent the Wednesday looking at home downgrades since she has to sell her mansion in Bonsall.

The Macks were spotted together looking frustrated as they visited at least three rental properties the day before their court hearing.

The modest homes are a far cry from their four-bed, five bath mansion. Each rent for around $4,500 a month. 

It was a tense outing where the couple appeared frustrated, showing no affection towards one another as they emerged from viewings.   

After their appointments, seemingly in search of R&R, Michelle and one of her daughters took a trip to the beach. 

She was spotted lugging beach chairs while sporting a pair of $400 Prada sunglasses and was toting a pricey Louis Vuitton bag on her wrist, loading up their $40,000 Tesla with beach supplies. 

The pair then enjoyed some tacos before driving home to the gated community where they currently live. 

It was just five months ago that Michelle was handcuffed in front of the mansion, still wearing her pink and white pajamas.

Mack, Kenneth and two of their daughters looked unenthused about the properties they were being shown

Mack, Kenneth and two of their daughters looked unenthused about the properties they were being shown

Mack appeared in court Thursday after being charged with more than 130 counts of felony theft. She is facing a possible sentence of years in prison

Mack appeared in court Thursday after being charged with more than 130 counts of felony theft. She is facing a possible sentence of years in prison

Mack was charged several months ago for allegedly heading up the luxury retail theft gang the 'California Girls'

Mack was charged several months ago for allegedly heading up the luxury retail theft gang the ‘California Girls’

She is accused of operating the group, which was comprised of women around the country who would steal bags and bags of high end makeup products and deliver them to Mack, who would sell them at severe discounts on her Amazon page

She is accused of operating the group, which was comprised of women around the country who would steal bags and bags of high end makeup products and deliver them to Mack, who would sell them at severe discounts on her Amazon page

Mack seemed distressed while she looked at houses, but more relaxed later when she and one of her daughter's headed to the beach for R&R and tacos

Mack seemed distressed while she looked at houses, but more relaxed later when she and one of her daughter’s headed to the beach for R&R and tacos

Kenneth and Mack have both pleaded not guilty, though there did not appear to be any love lost between the married couple on Wednesday

Kenneth and Mack have both pleaded not guilty, though there did not appear to be any love lost between the married couple on Wednesday

Investigators determined  Mack's Amazon store front had racked up sales worth some $8million since 2012

Investigators determined  Mack’s Amazon store front had racked up sales worth some $8million since 2012

The beautiful southern California estate was used by the Macks as the center of business operations for their handful of companies - including the one that resulted in their joint arrest

The beautiful southern California estate was used by the Macks as the center of business operations for their handful of companies – including the one that resulted in their joint arrest 

Stolen cosmetics - many of which were found at the Mack's house during the December raid - were sold online at half their retail value, prosecutors claim

Stolen cosmetics – many of which were found at the Mack’s house during the December raid – were sold online at half their retail value, prosecutors claim

Police described the haul as a 'mini-market' after discovering it laid out warehouse style in the 4,500 square foot mansion in Bonsall

Police described the haul as a ‘mini-market’ after discovering it laid out warehouse style in the 4,500 square foot mansion in Bonsall

When federal agents served a search warrant on Dec. 6, 2023, they found at least 10,000 items worth about $387,000 stored in the garage.

Kenneth was also arrested the same day.

Investigators say that Mack, her husband, and the ‘California Girls’ allegedly operated in at least a dozen states across the country, and targeted outlets including LensCrafters, Sephora, and some 230 Ulta stores.

Mack allegedly paid air fares, hotel bills and car rental costs for up to a dozen operatives, who would deliver their loot to her home in San Diego before she sold it on for knock-down prices through a front company on Amazon Marketplace.

Investigators spent more than two years chasing the ‘California Girls,’ who allegedly cleared out entire shelves of luxury products, often walking out of the stores with the stolen goods in their over-sized Louis Vuitton bags. 

The alleged queenpin’s world of crime began to unravel when two shoplifters were arrested in an Ulta store on the East Coast and one of them told police that she was working for a woman in California. A search of her phone revealed dozens of messages from a woman later identified as Mack.

Investigators then discovered that Mack ran a retail outlet on Amazon called Online Makeup Store, which offered more than 300 items on its product line.

‘The items listed for sale were nearly 50 percent off the actual retail price, which was included in the sales listing,’ a search warrant application explained. ‘This steep discount suggested the items were being fenced.’

An aerial shot of the Macks' $2.75million Bonsall, Calif. property, which includes a 3 1/2-acre vineyard, winery and private stone chapel. Following their December arrest, the sprawling manse was put up for sale

An aerial shot of the Macks’ $2.75million Bonsall, Calif. property, which includes a 3 1/2-acre vineyard, winery and private stone chapel. Following their December arrest, the sprawling manse was put up for sale

Mack in custody on December 6 outside of her Bonsall, California home

Mack in custody on December 6 outside of her Bonsall, California home 

Police described the scene at the Bonsall house as a 'mini-market' as they found thousands of products laid out across the 4,500 square foot house

Police described the scene at the Bonsall house as a ‘mini-market’ as they found thousands of products laid out across the 4,500 square foot house

The entrepreneurial couple used the extravagant 5-bedroom castle-like house to host weddings and rent out as part of their wedding and events business

The entrepreneurial couple used the extravagant 5-bedroom castle-like house to host weddings and rent out as part of their wedding and events business 

There is even an onsite chapel for religious ceremonies

There is even an onsite chapel for religious ceremonies 

The soon-to-be former residence also features a idyllic California vineyard

The soon-to-be former residence also features a idyllic California vineyard 

Michelle and Kenneth Mack in happier times at their own wedding

Michelle and Kenneth Mack in happier times at their own wedding

Amazon provided investigators with records showing the outfit had racked up sales worth $8 million since 2012, including nearly $2 million in 2022 alone.

Papers filed by the Attorney General’s office note that ‘the manner in which Defendants carried out the crimes indicates planning, sophistication, or professionalism.’

Last December, authorities raided Mack’s San Diego home before filing 140 charges against her, Kenneth, and seven alleged members of the ‘California Girls.’

The charges include 136 felony counts of grand theft, two counts of receiving stolen property, one count of conspiracy and one count of organized retail crime.

The National Retail Federation estimates that retailers lost $40.5 billion to shoplifters in 2022, much of it to organized gangs.

The number of cases brought against organized theft groups by Homeland Security Investigations more than tripled from 59 to 199 between 2021 and 2022.