Facebook used to sell range of fake goods

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A WOMAN used the social networking site Facebook to sell counterfeit goods, including fake Chanel perfumes and Tiffany jewellery, a court heard.

Sarah Cordukes, 26, of Esplanade Road, Scarborough, pleaded guilty to 18 offences under the Trade Marks Act involving a wide range of fake goods which she offered for sale on Facebook.

At York Crown Court, Judge Stephen Ashurst told her: “It is an affront to common sense when some of the items were at a vastly reduced cost from genuine trade.

“Dealing in counterfeit goods is a serious matter,” the judge told Cordukes at yesterday’s hearing.

Cordukes was sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work yesterday following a successful prosecution by North Yorkshire County Council’s Trading Standards service.

Scarborough magistrates heard how when trading standards officers searched her flat and her parents’ home they found more than 200 counterfeit items, including clothing, jewellery, footwear, purses and handbags bearing a range of leading brand names.

The case was the first successful prosecution by North Yorkshire Trading Standards involving goods offered for sale on Facebook. A financial investigation is now under way under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

“This case demonstrates clearly that North Yorkshire Trading Standards are determined to crackdown on anyone offering counterfeit goods of any kind,” said County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, executive member for trading standards, after the hearing.

“We will not tolerate crimes of this kind, which not only defraud members of the public but also damage the interests of the vast majority of legitimate retailers who deal in genuine branded goods.

“We will continue to monitor social networking sites such as Facebook on a regular basis, and will not hesitate to take action against anyone we find contravening the law in this manner,” the county councillor added.