A man has been fined after he was caught trying to sell almost £10,000 worth of fake designer products – in a north-east lay-by.
Terence Crook appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday to be sentenced having previously admitted trying to cash in on the counterfeit goods.
The 54-year-old had taken a wide selection of products – including watches, headphones, speakers and designer T-shirts – home from abroad, and decided to try to sell them on to make a profit.
Officers from the city council’s trading standards department caught him at work on April 28, 2014.
They found him parked up in his black Audi A4 in a lay-by on the A90 Aberdeen to Dundee road, just north of Laurencekirk.
The court heard that although he had only spent around £1,200 on the goods himself, the value the Crown put on the haul recovered was estimated to be £9,300.
Amongst the illicit goods were 16 Michael Kors watches, 11 pairs of Beats headphones, 10 Beats portable speakers, Ugg boots and a selection of designer T-shirts.
Prosecutors had also alleged he was attempting to sell Michael Kors bags and purses, Chanel shoes, Louis Vuitton shoes, Mulberry purses and GHD straighteners, but his not guilty pleas to theses charges were accepted by the Crown.
Sentencing Crook, of 252 Balnagask Road, Aberdeen, Sheriff Alison Stirling said: “The nature of these offences are serious. They have the affect of undermining reputable companies.
“You were intending to supply with a view to profit. You spent £1,200 on these goods but the loss to the companies would have been £9,300.
“It seems to me you were embarking upon this financial enterprise in the hope of making a substantial gain.”
The sheriff said she took into account the substantial loss to the companies when passing her sentence.
She ordered that Crook pay a fine of £2,700.
Speaking after the sentence, Aberdeen City Council’s trading standards manager, Graeme Paton, welcomed the conviction and warned members of the public about the safety risks involved in purchasing counterfeit good.
He said: “Counterfeiting is the scourge of legitimate business costing jobs and investment, which instead diverts funds to organised criminals who see counterfeiting as a profitable alternative to selling drugs.
“Furthermore, consumers don’t appreciate the false economy buying counterfeit goods present – they are nowhere near the quality of the genuine article and in the case of electrical goods can present a safety hazard.”