A counterfeiter from North Common has been given a nine month jail term suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work by a judge at Bristol Crown Court.
Richard Rooseby, of Albany Way, North Common, had already pleaded guilty to eight counterfeiting offences under the Trade Marks Act for selling fake Zumba fitness clothing and fake Abercrombie and Fitch garments. He also admitted having other counterfeit brands for sale including Hollister, Ugg and Ray-Ban which generated thousands of pounds in income. He admitted the offences when he appeared before Northavon Magistrates’ Court on December 3, 2012.
Yesterday’s prosecution (Tuesday 19 February) was brought by South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards who carried out an investigation following complaints about his illegal trading activities on popular internet auction site Ebay. Since early 2009 Rooseby had sold a variety of suspected counterfeit goods to customers around the world including Australia, America, Canada and across Europe.
His home address and two other associated addresses were raided in May last year by Trading Standards officers and police who seized a quantity of suspected counterfeit stock. They took other evidence including an order book and a computer.
Forensic analysis of the computer showed that Rooseby was also selling branded products locally to friends and family.
During interview, Rooseby admitted to making approximately £20 profit on each Zumba item he sold.
His accounts revealed approximately £50,000 in income from sales of branded items via Ebay alone, but also that he spent approximately the same amount sourcing counterfeit supplies over three years.
Neil Derrick, Senior Fair Trade Officer for South Gloucestershire Trading Standards, said: “Rooseby was a worldwide seller of counterfeit merchandise and generated substantial income from these sales including local sales through word of mouth – all of which will be confiscated through separate action under the Proceeds of Crime Act.”
Cllr Claire Young, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Communities Committee, added: “This case should serve to warn others that counterfeiting is illegal and wrong. We're all feeling the pinch in difficult times, but people have to make money legitimately - or they could face a criminal prosecution and have their assets confiscated.”
A further hearing is due to take place at the end of May to deal with Rooseby under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Anyone wishing to report sales of counterfeit items can contact Trading Standards in complete confidence by calling 08454 04 05 06.