April 19, 2011 Leave a comment
A rogue trader from Suffolk who sold counterfeit Nintendo Wii, DS and Xbox computer games on eBay has been ordered to pay a total of £42,500 following a final hearing at Ipswich Crown Court.
Suffolk Trading Standards brought the prosecution after test purchases of two Nintendo DS games from a seller on eBay were confirmed to be counterfeit by the Trade Mark holder. A warrant was subsequently executed at Mr Chandler’s property in Haverhill, with goods seized which were also confirmed as counterfeit.
Mr Darren Chandler was ordered to pay a confiscation figure of £30,000 and was also ordered to pay costs of £12,500, making the total figure £42,500.
Judge Rupert Overbury told the court that the defendant, Mr Chandler from Haverhill, had benefited from a criminal lifestyle under Section 2 of the Proceeds of Crime Act. He has been given six months to pay this amount and if he fails to do so within the time allotted, he will receive a default sentence of 15 months in prison.
Mr Chandler was sentenced in August 2010 having pleaded guilty to six Trade Mark offences, relating to the sale, possession and importing of counterfeit Nintendo, Xbox, and Wii games.
Senior Trading Standards Officer Nousha Meek said:
“This is the largest amount that Suffolk Trading Standards have recovered using the Proceeds of Crime Act. This kind of success sends a strong message to rogue traders that crime does not pay and the Courts will confiscate any earnings from criminal activity.”
Judge Overbury accepted that no harm had been brought to those that had purchased the games, but stated that Mr Chandler’s actions undermined the reputable companies. He also stated that the customers purchasing the games were likely to be young consumers whose funds had been deceived.
Judge Overbury also sentenced Mr Chandler to a nine month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered that he must complete 240 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.