A firm that planned to flood Blackpool with 250,000 illegal counterfeit toys is facing a stiff sentence after being convicted by jurors.
Amazing Savings Ltd(ASL) and its director Jonathan “Jonny” Kahn, 63, of Parkway, Golders Green, London, had denied peddling tens of thousands of fake Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and other branded toys to major high street shops in Blackpool, but were found guilty at Preston Crown Court.
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Counterfeit products are unacceptable and our trading standards officers work night and day to keep them off the streets so that our legitimate traders aren’t undermined by people committing a crime in order to make extra money
Members of Kahn’s family sobbed in court when guilty verdicts to a string of 34 trademark offences were returned.
The importers provided toys to popular high street chains in the resort, including B and M Bargains, TJ Morris Ltd, which runs Home Bargains, and Lewis Home Retail Ltd, which runs TJ Hughes, ripping off brands such as Marvel, Hasbro and Viacom.
The alleged offences came to light during a probe by Blackpool Council’s trading standards department after a tip off counterfeit 15cm Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) were on the shelves of B&M Bargains.
During a week long trial, the court heard when sales had been agreed and the companies had requested a sample, genuine figures had been sent - but it is alleged once the transactions were agreed, ASL would source cheaper, black market goods from the Far East.
Jurors were told of incriminating e-mails between Kahn and his main supplier from China – calling himself Eddie Wong – in which Wong tells him: “We ask them to steal part of the goods for us around end of April.”
Another said: “ Factory advises the item is brand new and going to start production shortly. So we need to confirm the factory immediately and ask them to produce extra plastic parts for us at the same time.”
Trading Standards also found ASL had employed a packaging firm to make labels giving the details of the importer as ‘Jabon Y Olor’ of Almeria, Spain.
Judge Stuart Baker reserved the sentence to himself and will pass sentence on April 21.
Coun Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This is a great result for what we believe is the biggest trading standards case of its kind in the UK.
“Counterfeit products are unacceptable and our trading standards officers work night and day to keep them off the streets so that our legitimate traders aren’t undermined by people committing a crime in order to make extra money.
“In this particular case, our officers have been unrelenting in their approach to confiscating the fraudulent items, tracking a paper trail which led them to detaining rogue toys from Salford and London, all to uphold the law.”
Kahn’s list of fake toys shame
8,004 counterfeit turtle figures in 2014
14,096 counterfeit turtle figures in 2015
42,996 fake Spiderman Triple Attack figures between 2014 and 2915
1,000 fake Spiderman Triple Attack figures in 2014
1,063 fake Spiderman Triple Attack figures in 2015’
38,460 fake Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle vehicle sets
8,529 fake Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle vehicle sets
12,783 fake Pie Face games
sold 29,358 fake Spidey Shot Web Fluid Figures
27,072 counterfeit Spiderman webcopter sets
10,040 counterfeit Spiderman webcopter sets
37,440 fake Superhero Mashup figures
20,000 counterfeit Spiderman figures
2,000 bogus Spiderman figures.
4,000 fake Spiderman Triple Attack figures with a view to selling them
9,120 Leonardo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures with a view to selling them
6,633 Mutant Ninja Turtles vehicle sets with a view to selling them