Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Woman Sold Fake Goods from Garage

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Woman Sold Fake Goods from Garage

Article excerpt

Byline: Gareth Lightfoot Court Reporter

A WOMAN who ran a "cottage industry" in fake designer goods from her home has been ordered to work for the community.

Elizabeth Keenan, 39, had a Facebook page under the name "JoMa" selling the goods, Teesside Crown Court heard. Her home was searched and Trading Standards officers uncovered a large haul of counterfeit items, with goods laid out in the garage ready for sale.

Investigators found branded clothing, jewellery, accessories and shoes - more than 300 identified as counterfeit.

Among the goods were counterfeit Breitling watches, a Hermes belt, Ralph Lauren clothing, fake branded clothing labels and buttons.

Other examples in the specimen trademark charges brought against Keenan were Ugg boots and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Trading standards at Stockton Council began investigating in May 2014 after reports of Keenan selling counterfeit goods on Facebook and at local car boot markets.

Prosecutor Richard Bennett said yesterday: "It's not possible to say how much was sold. It was a reasonable size enterprise.

"It's difficult to determine what the actual profits would have been because we've never seen any receipts for sales.

"The prices, charging PS5 for a belt, PS15 for a jacket or top, clearly were not designed to fool those buying them."

He said the goods probably came from China but it was unclear how Keenan bought them.

She said she bought them from Manchester and there was no evidence she imported them.

Keenan, of Pembroke Drive, Ingleby Barwick, denied eight charges of having goods for sale with false trademarks.

She was convicted on seven counts and cleared on one after a trial last month.

She had no relevant previous convictions and brought a bundle of references to court as she faced sentence. …

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