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Lincoln man fined £120k over fake DVDs

A Lincoln man has to pay over £120,000 after selling counterfeit DVDs on eBay.

Andrew Hughes (26) from Branston near Lincoln pleaded guilty to 10 offences infringing the Trade Mark Act (1994) at Lincoln Crown Court on February 17.

An investigation by specialist police unit FACT and Lincolnshire Trading Standards found Hughes buying counterfeit DVDs from China and selling them as genuine on eBay.

During an interview, Hughes said he hadn’t realised the DVDs were probably fake due to their low price, and that he ignored complaints from buyers about the DVDs.

He was ordered to pay £109,624.05 for a confiscation order and a prosecution cost of £11,778.70 to pay within three months, Hughes was given an 18 month custodial sentence and suspended for two years.

The fake DVDs in the man's living room. Photo: Lincolnshire Trading Standards
The fake DVDs in the man’s living room. Photo: Lincolnshire Trading Standards

The judge presiding over the case, said: “Those that buy goods from China are closing their eyes to the blinding obvious, China is the counterfeit capital of the world; the defendant was arrogant and made a substantial profit.”

Ian Newell, Service Manager for Lincolnshire Trading Standards said: “Andrew Hughes was making tens of thousands of pounds by selling counterfeit DVDs through his eBay account.

“He pleaded guilty to infringing the Trademarks Act and also faced confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

“Those who commit this sort of crime cost legitimate producers and outlets a great deal of money. It impacts on people’s jobs and livelihoods.

“The message has to go out that people can go to prison and face confiscation of their criminal benefit for committing this type of offence.

“Enforcement authorities will track down sellers of counterfeit goods sold over the internet and from other traditional outlets.”

Forfeiture of the seized DVDs was granted to Trading Standards for disposal.