Oswestry Facebook trader who sold fake Adidas and Chanel hit with £8,000 fine

An Oswestry man who sold counterfeit goods online has been ordered to pay almost £8,000 in costs and must do community service.

John Paul Harrison, of The Mews, Burma Road, sold fake goods purporting to be major brands including Adidas, Chanel, Super Dry and Ugg via Facebook.

He was prosecuted by Powys County Council after establishing supply chains across the Shropshire/Welsh border.

The council's training standards service today warned others counterfeit traders they could face legal action as well as losing all the money made from their criminal activities.

Harrison appeared in Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to four offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994.

The court heard that the business he ran through Facebook had been operating for a period of two years.

Magistrates were told Harrison took about five orders a day, worth £25, for 200 days each year. The counterfeit goods were purchased from Manchester to order and then supplied to a network of contacts made via Facebook.

Harrison was given a 12-month community order and must carry out 120 hours of community service and pay £7,864 costs.

Enforcement

Speaking after the court case Clive Jones, the trading standards, community safety and emergency planning boss at Powys Council, said: “Counterfeiting is a serious criminal offence and, like any criminality, involves other kinds of loss on which it is difficult to place an exact value.

“What we encounter is individuals solely looking at profit, with no experience in the product they are importing or buying, no knowledge of legitimate supply chains or the original product or concern about the safety of the product they are selling and who don't care about what effect it has on legitimate trade. We will stamp these practises out through education and enforcement.

“Our surveillance on illegal activity involving counterfeiting is increasing and we ask users of auction sites or any person offered suspected counterfeit goods to be vigilant and to warn us of any suspicious sellers through our contact points. This action would not have been possible without the support of Dyfed Powys Police and we wish to thank officers from the road policing team and intelligence unit.”

Councillor James Evans, cabinet member for trading standards, said: “We support legitimate businesses and local tax payers by targeting illegal shadow economy activities such as product counterfeiting by individuals, who have little regard to the county's traders and only seek to further destabilise our economy.

"Firm action is needed on any issues related to product counterfeiting to promote fair trading within our community and to take the criminal benefit away from those that conduct in criminal activity."

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