Private Criminal Prosecutions .png

A woman from Harlow was convicted at Barking Magistrates Court on 20th June 2019. (Her details have been withheld at the request of her solicitors). She pleaded guilty to three (3) offences of selling counterfeit goods contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. The woman was sentenced to a Conditional Discharge for 18 months, ordered to pay a £100 contribution to investigation costs and a Victim Surcharge of £20.00.

No alt text provided for this image

The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of its clients Jimmy Choo, Pandora and another well known luxury goods brand.

No alt text provided for this image

The convicted woman operated on a facebook Group selling page ‘Things for Sale in and around Romford areas’. She used the false details ‘Lou-Elle James’ and advertised an array of counterfeit goods which included handbags, belts, scarves and small accessories including wallets, purses and jewellery branded with the names Michael Kors, Versace, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Armani, Boss, Jimmy Choo and many others.  She also sent WhatsApp broadcast lists to over 100 people every week offering a wide variety of fake goods. She also offered a Personal Shopping Service whereby a customer was able to send her a picture of an item they would like for her to source a fake copy. No enforcement action was taken in relation to the other brands on sale at the request of their representatives.

No alt text provided for this image

TM Eye’s Online Investigations Team commenced an investigation on 1st November 2018. Following contact with the woman via Facebook, TM Eye deployed undercover detectives from the TM Eye Dedicated Undercover Unit and TM Eye’s Surveillance Team to carry out a series of covertly filmed test purchases. Test purchases were made at various locations including Dagenham market, McDonalds in Harlow and in Brentwood on 2nd November 2018 of a Louis Vuitton purse for £30.00 that if genuine would cost £885.00, on 4th February 2019 of a Louis Vuitton bag for £45.00 that if genuine would cost £1,270.00, on 24th February 2019 of a fake Jimmy Choo bag for £20.00 and 26th May 2019 of a fake Pandora bracelet with charms for £23.90 valued at over £400.00 if genuine.

No alt text provided for this image

During the investigation it was identified that the defendant using the pseudonym ‘Lou-Elle James’ had been a member of the ‘Things for sale in and around Romford areas’ group since 27 July 2018 and that she was a member of a number of other selling groups including “Things for sale in Barking and Dagenham and local areas” and “Loughton Bargains”. She was also a prolific seller on Whatsapp.

No alt text provided for this image

TM Eye Director David Mckelvey said, “This Online Seller was prolific and offered a vast amount of fake goods for sale over a significant period using a wide variety of social media. She ran a sophisticated criminal enterprise to avoid detection using a false name and public locations for sales. The TM Eye Online Investigations Team supported by the Dedicated Undercover Unit have done an excellent job in identifying this criminal and bringing her to justice.

Should she re offend she will undoubtedly receive a custodial sentence.”

Private Criminal Prosecutions .png

On 24th June 2019 two Bulgarian nationals Syuleman Ahmedom SYULEMANOV( born 17/10/1984) and Sherife Kyamil MUSTAFA (born 19/12/1985) living in Basildon, Essex appeared at Basildon Magistrates Court charged with eight (8) offences of selling counterfeit goods and possessing them for sale contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. Both pleaded guilty to all matters. SYULEMANOV admitted that she had given the court a false name of Fatima AHMET. This was corrected and she was sentenced with MUSTAFA in her correct details. Both received a 12 Month Community Order with a condition to complete 120 hours of Unpaid Work, a requirement to pay £100 investigation costs and an £85 Victims Surcharge.

No alt text provided for this image

The case was brought by TM Eye on behalf of its client HUGO BOSS as a private criminal prosecution.

No alt text provided for this image

Both those convicted operated a large stall at Wellesbourne Market every Saturday selling fake clothing from a wide variety of luxury brands including North Face, Armani, Nike, Armani, Kenzo, D&G, Moncler, Givenchy and others. No enforcement action was taken in relation to these brands at the request of their Brand Protection officers and representatives. SYULEMANOV and MUSTAFA made significant criminal proceeds from their criminal activities.

Undercover detectives from TM Eye’s Dedicated Undercover Unit supported by the TM Eye surveillance team attended Wellesbourne Market on 24th November 2018, 1st December 2018, 8th December 2018, 15th December 2018 and 16th February 2019. On each occasion covertly filmed test purchases were made of fake Hugo Boss goods. These formed the evidence leading to the prosecution and conviction of the two.

TM Eye Director David Mckelvey said,“These two defendants were prolific and sold large amounts of fake clothing at Wellesbourne Market. They are now convicted and as a result of our Information Sharing Agreement with the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office, will have their convictions recorded on the Police National Computer. They will also be required to have their fingerprints, photographs and DNA taken for police indices. TM Eye will also inform the UK Border Agency. Should they re offend they risk imprisonment”.