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Couple sentenced for online counterfeiting

A Poole couple have been sentenced by the courts for online counterfeiting.

Borough of Poole's Trading Standards team successfully prosecuted David and Linda Cross, of Lytham Road, Broadstone who pleaded guilty to 20 charges of trademark offences at Bournemouth Magistrates Court on 14 November 2013.

Mr and Mrs Cross were sentenced to a 12 months conditional discharge by a judge at Bournemouth Crown Court on 24 October 2014. 

The couple applied trademarks to well known brands such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Gruffalo, JLS and One Direction, before selling them to unsuspecting members of the public. The offences, which related to online counterfeiting, netted Mr and Mrs Cross thousands of pounds.  

A subsequent action was also taken against the defendants to recover the money illegally gained by their crimes. The judge made a confiscation order that Mr and Mrs Cross pay £75,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act together with £15,000 prosecution costs.

The judge said companies are entitled to protect their products by trademark and copyright and neither Mr and Mrs Cross made enough enquiries about how to operate their business legally before embarking upon it.

James Norman, Regulatory Team Manager, Borough of Poole Trading Standards said: "We are pleased with the judge’s verdict and confiscation order. It sends a clear message to anyone contemplating such an act that the overall cost and reputational damage outweigh any gain. We are fully committed to protecting our residents from unscrupulous traders. We will have no hesitation in seeking prosecution and the recovery of any assets gained through illegal activity."