Ipswich man sentenced for selling fake designer clothes on Facebook
Archant Norfolk Photographic / James Bass © 2011
A man has avoided going straight to jail for selling counterfeit goods on Facebook.
Alan Harvey, of Wellesley Road in Ipswich, was sentenced by magistrates today after pleading guilty to offences under the Trade Marks Act in May.
He received a nine-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, with a rehabilitation activity requirement to address offending.
The 46-year-old was told to pay costs of £5,000 and a statutory surcharge of £115 towards victim services, as well as forfeiting the goods and a number of electrical items, including two computers, an iPad and a mobile phone.
The prosecution followed complaints to Suffolk Trading Standards that Harvey was selling branded goods suspected to be counterfeit on his Facebook page, including clothing, shoes and accessories by brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, Nike, Adidas and Ralph Lauren.
A warrant was carried out at an address in Iris Close, Ipswich, where more than 400 items of clothing were seized before being examined by the brand holders and confirmed to be counterfeit.
Branded goods may only be sold if genuine and made with the consent of the trademark holder.
Suffolk Trading Standards said counterfeit goods were not of the same quality as genuine products and may not have been tested to required safety standards.
A spokesman said: “This can be of considerable detriment to consumers, as well as being unfair to businesses selling genuine products.
“A good indication of whether an item is likely to be genuine is the quality and the price.”
Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “Suffolk Trading Standards is committed to keeping counterfeit goods off the streets.
“This investigation demonstrates that those selling counterfeit products through methods such as Facebook, eBay and Gumtree will not evade investigation and may be prosecuted.
“I would urge Suffolk residents to only purchase goods from reputable suppliers, and avoid buying products from anyone who will not provide a receipt and details of their name and address.”
If anyone has information, or suspects others of selling counterfeit products, contact Trading Standards on 03454 040506.