Woman sold fake designer goods via Facebook
A LYDE Green woman sold fake designer clothing, trainers and accessories via a Facebook group.
South Gloucestershire Council said its trading standards officers searched Charlotte Pocknee’s home in Jenner Boulevard and seized counterfeit items including handbags, belts and clothing.
The council said Pocknee, aged 26, was selling the goods via a group called Haute Couture.
Trading Standards officers were carrying out checks as part of an initiative called the Real Deal Online, where social media sites are monitored to prevent illegal items from being bought and sold.
A council spokesperson said they came across an advertisement by Haute Couture offering suspected counterfeit goods for sale in a local buying and selling group.
They made £100 of test purchases of designer branded T-shirts and swimming shorts in January last year: the items were later confirmed as fake by the brands.
When her home was raided Pocknee’s phone was also seized, and the council said a detailed review of its contents showed “a wealth of evidence” that she knew she was acting illegally.
The spokesperson said: “Text messages found on the phone included her own comments where she stated that she should not be selling replica items.
“Evidence found on the phone has also resulted in further investigations into suppliers and resellers.”
The council said financial records showed Pocknee had paid more than £7,400 to suppliers for the goods, buying more than £4,300 of fakes in just under four months.
Pocknee was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to 10 charges under the Trade Marks Act relating to selling counterfeit goods when she appeared at Bristol Magistrate’s Court on July 26.
She was given a community order including a three-month curfew and told to pay £800 in costs to the council and a £95 victim surcharge.
The fake items found at her home will be destroyed.
Council cabinet member for communities Rachael Hunt said: “Practices like this will not be tolerated in South Gloucestershire and I am pleased to see this case come to a conclusion with these orders and fines handed to the offender.
“Our Trading Standards team is proactive in monitoring the selling of counterfeit goods on social media sites and will continue to observe suspicious sellers and enforce the legislation.
“The sale of counterfeit goods harms legitimate businesses and also means that the purchaser receives low-quality goods.”
Cllr Hunt called on anyone who suspects they may have been sold fakes to report it to trading standards on 0808 223 1133.