A Moray woman was today sentenced to 165 hours of unpaid community payback at Elgin Sheriff Court for selling fake luxury goods with an estimated street value of £40,000 in what was at the time the largest seizure of counterfeit items by Moray Council’s trading standards section.
Joan Stewart, 42, pleaded guilty to a number of charges of selling and possessing with a view to selling counterfeit branded goods in breach of the Trade Marks Act 1994.
The offences were committed via specially created Facebook pages called Named Brands and Brand Names Elgin.
The case was investigated by the council’s trading standard staff who monitored the Facebook pages and carried out a series of test purchases in conjunction with officers from Highland Council.
Joan Stewart’s address in the Elgin area was subsequently raided by Moray trading standards officers and Police Scotland in May 2014 when 46 bin-sized evidence bags of goods were seized.
The haul included Barbour and Armani jackets, Chanel scarves and jewellery, Converse and Nike trainers, Ralph Lauren T-shirts and polo shirts, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors bags and handbags, Rayban sunglasses and Ugg boots, all of which were later verified as being counterfeit by the trademark holders’ representatives.
Commenting on today’s outcome, Moray Council trading standards manager Peter Adamson said: “We are very pleased with this result which reflects on the seriousness of this particular case and on the hard work and diligence of our officers and partners in bringing this investigation to a conclusion.
“Moray Council trading standards are committed to protecting the residents and businesses of Moray from unscrupulous rogue traders and the counterfeit goods that they try to sell.
“This case is a warning to other dealers of fake goods that if they continue to carry out this type of criminal activity we will find them and, once caught, they will face significant penalties for their actions.”
Anyone with concerns about counterfeit goods can contact the Citizens’ Advice consumer service on 0845 040506 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 92,500 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.