Following a financial investigation by the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) Trading Standards Service, managed by the PPP Joint Case Management Unit, a Wokingham based former counterfeit car accessory dealer was landed with a Confiscation Order to the value of £21,572 when he appeared before Reading Crown Court on the 15February 2018.
Mr Dong of Ashville Way, Wokingham, originally came to the Trading Standards Services attention when it was contacted by a representative of BMW Group (UK) who had purchased a black and white bonnet badge from an eBay seller and found the badge counterfeit. After further investigations, approximately 3,600 car products were seized which bore registered trademarks of different manufacturers including Jaguar/Land Rover, Mercedes and Porsche. The subsequent investigation showed that goods valued at over £100,000 had been sold.
Mr Dong pleaded guilty on 9 May 2016 to one count of selling or offering for sale goods bearing or likely to be mistaken for registered trademarks between April 2013 and September 2014 contrary to Section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994. For his part in the sale of counterfeit goods operation Mr Dong was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment on the 17 June 2016.
After conviction confiscation proceedings were commenced and following a number of adjournments an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 was considered by Reading Crown Court on the 15 February 2018.
In considering the matter Her Honour Judge Lamb found that Mr Dong did have a criminal lifestyle, had benefited from his criminal conduct, and because of that benefit, the court decided a recoverable amount of £21, 572, and made the Confiscation Order requiring him to pay that amount.
The Judge in making the Confiscation Order fixed a default sentence of 18 months if not paid within 3 months.
Cllr Norman Jorgensen, Chairman of the Joint Public Protection Committee, said “This Confiscation Order has resulted from the sale of counterfeit goods on a significant scale. It sends a clear message that anyone involved in this illegal activity runs the risk of receiving a custodial sentence and confiscation of any assets. Selling counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime. It damages the interests of legitimate businesses and consumers alike. The penalties can be severe for those that engage in this activity.”
Anyone wishing to report the sale of counterfeit goods in Bracknell, West Berkshire or Wokingham should contact the Public Protection Trading Standards Service on 01635 519930 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Public Protection Partnership is a shared service of Bracknell Forest Council, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council and delivers Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing functions.