A couple linked to a business that sold counterfeit branded car mats to unsuspecting motorists made £60,000 ill gotten gains from their illicit endeavours, a court has found.
Stuart Johnson, 41, of The Ridings, Chorley, was previously jailed for 30 weeks, and other company directors punished, admitted four counts of selling car mats bearing an unauthorised trademark, two of possessing fabric badges bearing unauthorised trade marks, aiding and abetting the firm and two of aiding and abetting another defendant to offer them for sale.
His wife Nicola Shepherd, 39, director of Car Mat World Ltd, admitted three offences of selling car mats bearing a trademark and possessing 1,048 fabric badges bearing unauthorised trade marks, on the basis she was not an active participant in the sales side of the business.
Her 12 week sentence was suspended for 52 weeks.
Car Mat World Limited had operated a manufacturing unit at the Earnshaw Business Centre, Hugh Lane, Leyland, making replica car mats offered for sale via eBay and Amazon.
During a Proceeds of Crime hearing before Preston Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Gibson agreed the pair had benefitted by £60,000 but only had £10,500 of realisable assets to seize, which must be paid by October or they will face time in prison in default.
A linked firm, Styleline8 Ltd, which operated a “drop-shipping agreement” with their company, admitted a trademark offence, and director Andrew Short previously became the first offender in Lancashire to pay ill gotten gains to charity under new legislation used by Lancashire Trading Standards.