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Fined For Selling Counterfeit Goods

Written by on 6th July 2021

A Rhondda Cynon Taf woman has been successfully prosecuted by RCT Council’s Trading Standards Department for operating a fraudulent business and having in her possession, for the purpose of selling, counterfeit goods.

The 29-year-old woman, from Rhondda, pleaded guilty to all eight charges of possessing counterfeit goods for the purpose of selling, contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994, and one charge of carrying out a fraudulent business, when she appeared at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court.

The resident admitted selling and distributing counterfeit clothing, footwear, perfume, aftershave, handbags, purses and cosmetics, between October and December 2019, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.

The successful charges were brought against the woman by the Council’s Trading Standards Department following an investigation, as a result of information received in relation to the sale of counterfeit goods using the online platform Facebook.

Paul Mee, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Group Director, Community & Children’s Services, speaking after the court case, said: “The law is there to protect both the public and those bone-fide international companies who have a global reputation for selling quality goods at reputable outlets.

“Our Trading Standards officers, working on information received from the public, carried out a thorough investigation, which has resulted in this successful prosecution.

“This was a serious breach of the Fraud Act 2006 and the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the individual is now paying the price for her illegal actions. The sales of these counterfeit goods were not only detrimental to consumers, but also to the honest traders.

“Consumers also have a right to know that items they are purchasing fit the description being offered.”

A warrant of entry was executed at the individual’s home on December 3, 2019, during which officers seized a quantity of items believed to be counterfeit. Some of the items had been packed up and addressed, ready to send out to customers.

The seized items consisted of clothing, footwear, perfume, aftershave, handbags, purses and cosmetics which displayed well known designer brand names, including Christian Dior, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Mac, Michael Kors, Nike, Ted Baker, Thierry Mugler, Ugg and Vivienne Westwood.

Later examination of some specimen samples by the trade mark owners, or their representatives, confirmed that the goods were counterfeit.

The value of the counterfeit items seized was £582. The retail value of the items, had they been genuine, would have been in excess of £4,000.

PayPal accounts linked to the defendant were examined and these showed that she was regularly receiving money for the sale of various counterfeit items.

In mitigation, the court was told that the woman had indicated to officers where the goods were located in her home. At the time she was a single person and was suffering from depression and financial difficulties. She had been told by someone that it was a way to make money.

In Sentencing, the court stated that the woman had undertaken fraudulent business for several months, which showed planning, and profit would have been gained, albeit a small amount.

The woman was fined a total of £600 and was ordered to pay £150 prosecution costs and a £60 Victim Surcharge of £60, bringing the total to £810. An order for forfeiture and destruction of all seized items was also granted.