A Suffolk fraudster who made over £220,000 selling fake JLS, Justin Bieber and One Direction clothes to unsuspecting victims through eBay has been sentenced to 12 months in prison.
John Young, of Sotterley Road, Hulver, in Beccles, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court following a 16 month investigation brought by Suffolk County Council Trading Standards.
He pleaded guilty to 13 counts of Fraud and breaching Trade Marks and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations.
During sentencing, His Honor Judge Overbury said “taking into account the scale of the enterprise and the period over which he had been offending, the court has a duty to protect trademark holders and the sentence has to contain an element of deterrent to ensure the public are protected.
“As far as Mr Young’s culpability; the offences were premeditated because, by his own admission, he had researched selling counterfeit goods on the internet.”
Speaking after the sentencing, Nousha Meek, the senior trading standards officer who investigated the case, said: “Suffolk Trading Standards is committed to keeping counterfeit goods off the streets, and this case should act as a stark warning to other rogue businesses and individuals selling through eBay or other online methods such as Facebook.
“Counterfeit goods undermine legitimate businesses and their sale will not be tolerated in Suffolk.
“Our advice to consumers is to use the Brand-i shopping directory to find items such as designer or branded clothing, perfumes, shoes, music and sunglasses. You can trust the online stores listed as they have been provided with the consent of the brands themselves.
“Anyone who suspects they have been sold counterfeit goods can report it to Trading Standards on 03454 040506.”
In September 2012, Trading Standards officers received a complaint that counterfeit JLS clothing was being sold through eBay. After a test purchase, checks on the goods and further investigation into the eBay and Paypal accounts being used, officers found a significant number of sales being made. This included fake Olly Murs, Justin Bieber and One Direction merchandise. The investigation also found number plates were being sold without the necessary identity checks being made.
A financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act continues with a court hearing scheduled for later in the year.