North Yorkshire’s trading standards officers are warning people not to be tempted by the idea that they can make money by selling fakes on Facebook or other social media.
The warning follows a recent conviction of a Whitby man, Nicholas Morgan, at York Crown Court for the possession for sale of counterfeit clothing and trainers.
The trading standards investigation began when officers identified Morgan had sold fakes via two Facebook profiles. When they discovered Morgan had a storage unit in Whitby they used entry warrants to obtain a quantity of counterfeit goods including Nike, Adidas, Ralph Lauren and Stone Island, with a value of around £17,000.
The court heard that Morgan had received a previous warning for similar offending.
Morgan was given a 12 month prison sentence which was suspended for two years due to his guilty pleas and personal circumstances. He was also ordered to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work and complete a rehabilitation order.
The court set a further hearing for 27th September 2017 as part of confiscation proceedings against Morgan under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to recover the money he made from the sales.
“I would warn anyone who thinks that they might be able to make money selling fakes through social media that they face a prison sentence and confiscation of any money they make,” said County Councillor Andrew Lee, portfolio holder for trading standards.
“The ability of a business to protect its brand’s reputation through the use of a trademark, and the role of small, local retailers in selling those products, is vital to economic growth and productivity.
“Trading standards officers do all that they can to support and protect legitimate businesses, and I hope this case sends a clear message that firm action will be taken against those who do not trade fairly and lawfully.”