Block-busted! Trading Standards successfully prosecute dodgy DVD eBay seller from North Devon
Posted on: 24 August 2016
A Barnstaple man has been handed an eight month sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting to selling fake DVDs, phone covers and clothing online.
Appearing at Exeter Crown Court, Shaun Ryan, aged 34 of Wool Barn Road, pleaded guilty to six charges of selling and possessing counterfeit goods.
The case was brought by Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service after a test purchase of a ‘Game of Thrones’ DVD box set from Mr Ryan’s eBay shop, ‘ryanzenterprise’, was found to be phony.
During the investigation, Trading Standards officers discovered nearly 170 counterfeit items at Mr Ryan’s home, including DVDs, phone covers and clothing displaying protected trade marks such as ‘Angry Birds’ and ‘Louis Vuitton’.
The court heard how, over several years, Mr Ryan imported over 30 separate consignments from China and USA to his home in Barnstaple, and then sold the goods on eBay.
Judge Philip Wassell sentenced Mr Ryan to eight months in prison, suspended for two years and a community order to complete 100 hours of unpaid work. He also ordered a financial investigation into the income made from his illegal activity under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service, said:
“Selling counterfeit goods can seem to some like a victimless crime, but the reality is it causes immense damage to the legitimate manufacturers and retailers of genuine products, impacting on people’s jobs and livelihoods. It also had a detrimental effect on the country’s economy, both in terms of employment and tax revenue.
“We will not tolerate the sale of fake goods, and our Trading Standards team will continue to track down sellers both online and in person and take action to protect our legitimate businesses from unfair competition.
“I hope the sentence handed down by the judge will deter other people who may be involved in or are considering becoming involved in such illegal activities.”
Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards, said:
“Trade mark law aims to protect the rights of businesses who own intellectual property and also provides assurance to consumers looking for well known brands.
“The quality of counterfeit goods is often poor and consumers should always look to reputable traders.
“Criminals who exploit the law to earn quick money run the risk of being caught and prosecuted.
“I’m pleased the officers from our Joint Service have been able to disrupt this particular enterprise. Anyone who is thinking of making money from selling counterfeit goods should think again.”
If you have concerns about goods you have bought, or want advice about your rights, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454040506 or visit their website.
Businesses can get advice from via the Devon & Somerset Trading Standards website or by ringing 01392 381381 (if you are in Devon) or 0300 123 224 (if you are in Somerset).
About Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service
Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service is a joint service commissioned by Devon and Somerset County Councils. Its aim is to protect consumers and maintain a fair trading environment in which local businesses can thrive. Its work includes routine inspection of business premises, responding to complaints from the public and businesses and investigating breaches of consumer and farm animal welfare law. Further information can be found at on their website.
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