Blackpool mother gets community order for trying to flog fake goodsJune 17, 2023
Blackpool mother hit with community order for trying to flog fake ‘Prada’ tracksuits out of the boot of her car for £20 – after police caught her with £100,000 of knockoff products
- Aiva Sarapnicka, 43, received the fake goods from stores in Turkey via a friend
A ‘naïve’ mother from Blackpool has been handed a four-month community order after being caught with £100,000 of knockoff items as she tried to sell £20 ‘Prada’ tracksuits out of her car boot.
Aiva Sarapnicka, 43, sold the fake designer goods she received from Turkey via a friend, but ‘didn’t think she was doing anything wrong’, a court heard.
Sarapnicka was caught by Trading Standards officials at a car boot sale, where she was selling the copies of genuine Prada, which sell for £1,000 each, fake Nike Air trainers on the stall for £20 a pair as well as goods branded up as Adidas, Calvin Klein and Alexander McQueen.
She has now been handed a four-month curfew for her role in the scam.
On May 25, 2022, Trading Standards officers visited the stall at the Norcross car boot sale in Thornton Cleveleys, where an officer was sold a fake North Face T-shirt for £5.
Aiva Sarapnicka, 43, sold the fake designer goods she received from Turkey via a friend, but ‘didn’t think she was doing anything wrong’, a court heard
Sarapnicka sold fake Nike trainers for £20, when they would usually retail at £135 – £190
Blackpool Magistrates Court heard a genuine T-shirt in that style and make would retail between £20 and £30.
The officer returned to the stall a short while later to seize 637 items of clothing, footwear and bedding. Samples were handed over to the trademark owners, with 441 of them being declared as fake.
Sarapnicka answered written questions under caution and claimed she asked a friend to order the items for her from various suppliers in Turkey.
She said due to a language barrier she had not done any research into the items, which she had been selling on the car boot and Facebook Marketplace for two months.
The defendant showed Trading Standards officials documents, including receipts from Turkish suppliers and bank transfers to a friend for £5,500.
She also produced import tax invoices from HMRC and a receipt from TK Maxx for five items, which were later returned to her as genuine.
Claire Box, prosecuting, said: ‘She accepted the items seized were her property. She had been charging £20 for a tracksuit, £20 for a pair of trainers and £5 for a T-shirt.
‘She said she bought cheap so she could sell cheap and said she wasn’t sure if the items were genuine. ‘
Nike’s trademark representative said if the trainers Sarapnicka was selling were genuine, they would retail at £135 – £190. An Adidas rep said the tracksuits would be worth £70 and T-shirts around £30. A Hugo Boss T-shirt would be worth £250 and the Ralph Lauren items around £65, the court heard.
An Adidas rep said the tracksuits she sold would be worth £70 and T-shirts around £30
Trading Standards officials seized £100,000 of fake goods, which the judge ordered to be destroyed
As well as clothes, Sarapnicka was also selling bedding at car boots and on Facebook Marketplace
Sarapnicka pleaded guilty to 16 offences of possession of goods bearing a false trademark and one count of selling goods with a false trademark.
Defending, Gary McAnulty said: ‘She has been very naïve in relation to the whole situation. She didn’t think she was doing anything particularly wrong.
‘She was getting items from a physical store in Turkey and paid import tax to bring them into the country.
‘She was selling £1,000 Prada tracksuits for £20. It doesn’t work at all that anyone would thing they were genuine.’
As a result of the seizure, the defendant has had to declare herself bankrupt, as she was £10,000 out of pocket.
District Judge Michael Buckley said: ‘Clearly in setting up your business operation you didn’t take proper regard to the need to ensure the items you were purchasing were genuine.
‘The offence is made more serious by the number of items and the potential harm caused to legitimate businesses in terms of potential loss of business, and to the owners of the trademarks in terms of potential loss of revenue and reputational damage.’
The court heard Sarapnicka, who works 16 hours a week in a cinema, would not be able to do unpaid work as she has no childcare at weekends.
However the judge said the offence was so serious it must be marked with a community order and placed the defendant on a four-month curfew from 8pm to 7am.
He also ordered her to pay £595 costs and ordered for the items which were seized to be destroyed.
Source: Read Full Article