A radiographer has told a court she knew nothing of an Internet counterfeit Ugg boot enterprise involving her brother, a former trial motorbike champion.
Jane Morris denies two counts of transferring and converting criminal property in relation to around £44,000 that passed through her Paypal account, which was being used by her brother Shaun Morris, and which she transferred to her mother.
Her mother Celia Morris, 59, of Meadowlands, Charnock Richard, near Chorley, denies three counts of converting criminal property.
The 26-year-old, who now lives and works in Leeds, was tearful as she said: “I had no reason not to trust my brother. I never thought he would put me in this position.”
Preston Crown Court heard her brother Shaun, who has admitted money laundering and counterfeiting charges, was a junior world champion trial motorcyclist, but that an injury to his eye whilst fixing a bike ended his career in 2007.
She was studying in Leeds at the time.
She told the court she had an eBay account and Paypal account which she had used to sell things online while at university and that she was aware her brother, after his accident, had become involved in selling footwear.
She told the jury her brother asked if he could use her Paypal account, but denies knowing he was dealing in counterfeit Ugg boots.
Defending her, Alexandra Simmonds, showed her a spreadsheet list seized by Trading Standards officers at the family’s home on Meadowlands, Charnock Richard, and asked her to explain various entries with her name next to certain Ugg boot styles and prices. She replied that she had bought a pair herself, and she had bought pairs on behalf of her friends for around £70 – though the RRP is around £150 – and that one pair had been a gift from her brother.
She also said she had seen no hint of the business at her family home.
Prosecuting, Richard Heller put it to her that she must have been suspicious of the tens of thousands of pounds being transferred into her Paypal account which she was then paying into her mother’s account.
She replied: “It became a routine. It was easy to do. I didn’t think anything of it.”
The court heard her dad phoned her to tell her Trading Standards had visited the family home in December 2009.
She said: “I was in shock. The whole family was shocked and my brother was a complete wreck.
“I tried to speak to him to see what he wanted me to do with money in my account but he told me to keep hold of it.
“I transferred it into another of my accounts because it wasn’t my money and I didn’t want it getting mixed up with my money in my current account.”