Lincolnshire couple fined over £80k for selling fake CDs

A Lincolnshire couple who sold counterfeit CDs on eBay have been ordered to pay over £80,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

A judge at Lincoln Crown Court on December 17 ordered Susan Alderman, 58, and Christopher Alan Talbot, 48, from Morton Terrace in Gainsborough, to pay £82,661 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Together Lincolnshire Trading Standards and the team from Lincolnshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit put forward evidence showing how Alderman and Talbot had been selling counterfeit CDs on eBay for six years.

CDs included Justin Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience’, Michael Buble’s ‘To be Loved’ and One Direction’s ‘Take Me Home’, amongst others.

A confiscation order was made for Susan Alderman in the sum of £38,603 (the recoverable amount being the benefit figure) with three months to pay and a term of 12 months imprisonment in default of the payment.

Christopher Talbot was fined £36,908 (the recoverable amount being the available amount), the benefit figure being £71,566.14.

He has three months to pay and a term of imprisonment of 12 months if he fails to do so.

Together they were ordered to pay £850 towards the Trading Standards investigation expenses and £6,300 in counsel fees a total of £7,150.00 in costs against Mrs Alderman.

In total, the amount ordered by the court was £82,661.09.

Emma Beckett, trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Alderman and Talbot were making tens of thousands of pounds by selling counterfeit CDs through their eBay accounts.

“Last year, together with British Recorded Music Industry Ltd, we prosecuted the pair for offences under the Trademarks Act. They were given a suspended sentence and a community service.

“Now, by working closely with the police, we were able to show evidence of their trade over the past six years. We are pleased that this has now resulted in a significant amount of money being confiscated.

“Those who commit to 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.

“This is a real deterrent for anyone thinking of selling counterfeit products and shows that we will take action against rogue traders.”

Kev Hilton, a Financial Investigator with Lincolnshire Police, added: “The police will take every opportunity to pursue those people who continue to fund their lifestyles through committing crime.

“We will come after you and take away your assets and show you that crime does not pay.

“This is another good example of the close working relationship between the police and Trading Standards to achieve success.”

If you suspect someone may be selling counterfeit CDs or other products, report it by phoning Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.