Don't deal in Christmas fakes
With Christmas fast approaching sellers are being warned not to be tempted to make some extra money and risk a criminal record by selling fakes.
The warning comes from Gloucestershire Trading Standards Service as a Gloucester man is today (28th November) convicted of 15 counts of selling counterfeit goods.
Craig Gardner, 32, of Hucclecote, Gloucester, appeared in Cheltenham Magistrates Court today.
The court heard that Gardner had been selling counterfeits from his home, which he advertised on social media, as well as through a stall he operated in Gloucester's Eastgate Market.
On 22nd December 2015 Trading Standards Officers executed an entry warrant on his home address and carried out an inspection of the market stall.
They seized more than 300 fake items with brands which included UGG, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Chanel.
They also discovered a significant number of badges containing trademarks which could have been used to make more counterfeit goods.
Magistrates imposed a sentence of eight weeks imprisonment suspended for eight months and 100 hours of unpaid work.
They also ordered Gardner to pay £1,500 costs and surrender the counterfeit goods.
Last year Trading Standards officers carried out a series of operations in the run-up to Christmas resulting in the seizure of a number of counterfeit goods being sold on social media.
These included fake Beat speakers, Adidas and Nike tracksuits, Nike trainers, Michael Kors handbags and various items of counterfeit jewellery including Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Tiffany.
In the UK the trade in fake clothes, shoes and accessories alone is costing UK manufacturers, retailers and distributors around £2.6 billion in lost sales and 40,000 jobs every year.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for trading standards, said: "This case highlights how serious selling counterfeit goods really is.
"Many of the individuals involved do not realise they could be facing criminal records that will affect the rest of their lives.
"Those involved in counterfeiting face a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine."
Andy Hermiston, Head of Trading Standards, added: "It is important to ensure legitimate traders are protected and those who feel they can make easy money are deterred at the earliest stage.
"Officers work hard to ensure there is an even playing field for businesses and develop intelligence so that the illegal sellers are identified and dealt with in an appropriate manner.
"People should be aware that selling fakes may not only lead to prosecution but all the offences are subject to the proceeds of crime act so any profits can be taken away."