Chester shop owner ordered to pay £47,000 at proceeds of crime hearing
23 December 2015The owner of a mobile phone accessory shop that had been trading in Chester has been ordered to pay £47,000 at a Proceeds of Crime hearing.
Trading Standards Officers from Cheshire West and Chester Council started an investigation into two mobile phone accessory shops called ‘Phone Doctor’ trading from the Forum Shopping Centre in Chester and a second premises in Wrexham.
Both shop premises were searched and Trading Standards officers seized more than 150 mobile phone covers/cases and other phone related items that were believed to be counterfeit. A quantity of counterfeit ashtrays and smoking accessories were also seized.
The seized items were later analysed and confirmed as counterfeit.
In an earlier hearing at Chester Crown Court, Amjid Hussain, of Carnoustie Close, Wrexham, pleaded guilty to one Trade Marks Act offence concerning the sale of counterfeit mobile phone accessories from the Phone Doctor shops in both Chester and Wrexham over a 16 month period. Mr Hussain was also found guilty of one offence of mortgage fraud at the same hearing.
The case then proceeded to a Confiscation Investigation under the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act to establish what benefit Mr Hussain had received from crime.
Last Friday (December 18) a Confiscation Hearing at Warrington Crown Court agreed that Mr Hussain, 52, had benefited from crime by £47,000 and ordered him to pay the full sum within three months. In the event of non-payment the Court ordered that Mr Hussain would serve a 15-month prison sentence.
If he serves the term in prison in default for non-payment of the order, Mr Hussain would still owe the full amount and any outstanding balance after the three month deadline would start to attract interest.
Councillor Mark Henesy, Cabinet Member for Environment and Community, said: “Our Trading Standards officers will vigorously pursue those involved in the sale of counterfeit goods and continue to protect the public and legitimate traders by removing poor quality counterfeit products from the market place.
“Our Accredited Financial Investigators will ensure that offenders are not only faced with having a criminal record but will have their assets seized if they are shown to have benefitted from crime. This case sends out a strong message – quite simply – crime does not pay.”