Patchway man pleads guilty to pirated film trading on eBay

Posted on Sunday 8th August 2010 at 9:37 pm by SH (Editor)

A Patchway man has pleaded guilty to eight charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 involving sales of pirated film boxsets via eBay.

Russell Painter, 27, of Falcon Drive, Patchway appeared at Northavon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 27 July and admitted selling and possessing pirated copies of The Sopranos boxsets as well as other copied boxset titles including Stargate and Boston Legal. He also admitted to selling counterfeit Ugg boots.

Magistrates committed Painter to Bristol Crown Court for sentencing, where he will also be dealt with under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, which could result in a confiscation order being made for the income generated by his illegal activities.

The prosecution was brought by South Gloucestershire trading standards after investigations had identified Painter’s illegal activities on the eBay auction site. Officers raided two addresses associated with Painter in September 2009 and removed his computer and a number of counterfeit items.

Further investigations revealed that Painter had sold around 280 pirated film boxsets, 141 of which were the popular title The Sopranos. He also sold a small amount of Ugg footwear and some other pirated films on DVD.

In court it was claimed that Painter had originally bought the items believing them to be genuine, but later realised that they were counterfeit. Despite being aware that he was deceiving his customers who purchased the items in good faith, he continued trading in the counterfeit goods to supplement his income.

Painter was trading for less than 18 months, yet the sales of counterfeit boxsets alone generated over £20,000.

Cllr Heather Goddard, executive member for community services, said: “It is important that our trading standards officers continue to pursue and prosecute counterfeit sellers and other rogue businesses. By taking this action, our officers are protecting legitimate traders who are often responsible for the livelihoods of hundreds of employees.”

Neil Derrick, senior enforcement officer for South Gloucestershire trading standards said: “Mr Painter has wisely chosen to plead guilty at an early stage, which is a testament to the strength of the case against him.

“People should not see the sales of counterfeit goods as an easy way to supplement their incomes in these difficult times, as they could end up with a criminal conviction and having to repay any income generated.”

Painter will be sentenced later in the year, when the court will also decide upon the amount of his illegal earnings that he will be ordered to repay.

Anyone wishing to report sales of counterfeit goods can report it in complete confidence to Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

Source: South Gloucestershire Council


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