Supplier of fake Pandora charms sentenced to prison

25 April 2017

A former teacher who sold counterfeit Pandora charms online has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Cheshire West and Chester Trading Standards brought the case against Suzanne Piercy after an investigation into the sale of counterfeit Pandora jewellery being sold on an online auction site.

Mrs Piercy imported counterfeit charms from contacts in Germany and Hong Kong and sold them online using a significant number of listings, under the name of Zacsfactor.

49-year-old Mrs Piercy of Sutherland Way, Vicars Cross, Chester was found guilty of one count of fraudulent trading between March 2014 and June 2016, together with two trade mark offences.  

Trading standard officers and police officers executed a search warrant at her house on the 9 June, 2016.  A total of 1285 fake Pandora products were seized along with £3,205 cash.

From March 2015 to June 2016 (15 months) she had sold 15,494 Pandora products earning over £300,000.

The retail price of the 1285 seized items was £57,825.  When added to the £697,230 potential value of items sold between March 2015 to June 2016, this suggests a total loss to Pandora of around £755,000.

In summing up Judge Roger Dutton stated Piercy was ‘operating a well-run, efficient, successful, professional business making substantial profits’.  She was being used ‘as an outlet for a supplier from overseas’ and ‘it soon became clear it was not legitimate and exploited the scheme for her own and her family’s benefit’.

The Council’s Director of Place Operations, Maria Byrne said: “Our Trading Standards officers protect residents across Cheshire West by investigating the sale of counterfeit products.

“I would ask Cheshire West residents to seriously think twice about supporting this kind of activity. Buying counterfeit goods online may appear to be an attractive and cheap alternative but they are, by their very nature, inferior products and are often unsafe.

“This is the end result of a very complex investigation. This case has been listed for a Proceeds of Crime hearing in June to recover the proceeds from what was a substantial counterfeiting operation.

“We will take action against anyone found selling counterfeit products in Cheshire West and Chester. Counterfeiting is an illegal activity which affects the livelihoods of legitimate, hardworking businesses.”

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