Felixstowe company pleads guilty to selling fake goods online

A Suffolk company and its director were caught manufacturing and selling counterfeit goods to unsuspecting victims through eBay.

Felixstowe fake goods

Christopher Taylor, 42, of Lidgate Court, Felixstowe, along with his company, Sticar-it Limited, pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to 15 counts of Trade Marks Act 1994 violations and 5 counts against the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988.

Suffolk Trading Standards officers were called to investigate after receiving information that alleged Sticar-it was selling copyrighted items via eBay without the permission of the license holder.

Sticar-it Ltd offer a range of services including printing services, and merchandise production such as stickers, phone cases and clothing. The stickers and phone cases were predominately sold via eBay and the business has an approximate annual turnover of £140,000. The sales value of the counterfeit item is in the tens of thousands.

Following test purchases from the Form-Felixstowe account, 116 exhibits, containing over 10,000 items, were seized from an address in Bridge Road, Felixstowe. Some of the trademarks affected included Land Rover, Ford Motor Company and Looney Toons favourite, Tweety Bird.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for 15 December 2015 when a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 will be made.

Councillor Sarah Stamp, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities said:

“One of the aims of Trading Standards is to protect consumers from the sale of counterfeit goods. If you buy fake items you run the risk of paying a high price for goods which do not meet the quality and standards of the original brand holder. Counterfeit goods also adversely affect the livelihood of honest and reputable dealers.

“Although the crime of counterfeiting is not new, the sale of fake goods is increasing and there are simple steps that you can take to avoid mishaps whilst buying online. Ideally, try to buy from known companies, that you have done business with before, companies that have been recommended to you or companies that have a physical address in case you need to contact them if your order goes wrong.”

More counterfeit items are now being sold online and spotting copies is becoming much harder.

Here are Trading Standards top tips to help avoid buying counterfeit goods online:

  1. Ensure the website address begins ‘https’ at the payment stage – this indicates a secure payment.
  2. Keep security software and firewalls up-to-date. Regularly update your internet browser when a new patch-security update is released.
  3. Don’t access links in unsolicited emails, always type in the website address or use a search engine to find a site.
  4. Trust your instincts – if an offer looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Legitimate designer items are rarely discounted, so do not rush and be fooled into believing you are getting a good deal.
  5. Check the spelling and grammar on the website and of the URL – often the people behind these sites do not pay a lot of attention or care to this detail. Fraudsters may also try to deceive you by slightly changing the spelling of a well-known brand or shop in the website address.

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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