Three members of the same family have been sentenced for their parts in the running of a counterfeit shoe trading empire from the family home.
Former trial motorbike champion rider Shaun Morris, 29, of Meadowlands, Charnock Richard, who masterminded the operation, pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing counterfeit goods and two of money laundering and was jailed for 14 months.
His sister Jane Morris, 26, who was found guilty of two counts of concealing criminal property, and their mother Celia Morris, 59, guilty of one count, were given 40 weeks in prison suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work. Jane’s former boyfriend Andrew Quinn, 28, from South Shields, who admitted entering into a money laundering arrangement and converting criminal property, was also given a suspended term.
The court heard how Morris sold more £100,000 of imitation Ugg boots, Timberland boots, Nike and Puma trainers through 10 separate eBay accounts in celebrity names including John Malkovich.
The court heard his sister Jane Morris, 26, a radiographer who now lives and works in Leeds, and mother Celia Morris, 59, acted as bankers for the counterfeit footwear operation, allowing cash to be transferred through their bank and PayPal account.
Prosecuting, Richard Heller said: “A Trading Standards officer conducted a test purchase of a pair of Timberland boots. They were sent to Timberland who confirmed they were counterfeit. Further inquiries led to three search warrants being obtained at addresses linked to various eBay accounts. A quantity of counterfeit goods and two computers were seized.”
Trading Standards officers seized 76 pairs of Timberland boots, 53 pairs of Ugg boots, nine pairs of Nike trainers and nine pairs of Puma trainers.
Morris was a junior world champion trial motorcyclist, but an injury to his eye ended his career in 2007. Defending him, Edie Alastair, said after he was housebound after the accident and was looking for ways to occupy his time.
Mark Simpson, defending father-to-be Quinn, said he had led an impeccable life but made a “stupid mistake.”
Judge Heather Lloyd said: “You are all intelligent people, but the fact the investigation has taken two years is an indication of the level of investigation needed, not helped by the fact you all denied your guilt at first.”