A man who sold fake Rolex watches and other luxury branded goods will spend Christmas behind bars after goods were seized.
Terrance Donovan (58), of Griffiths Court, Peterborough sold the fake goods on websites including eBay and Amazon for up to £250.
He claimed they were ‘New and Genuine’ supplying the items complete with ‘Certificates of Authenticity’ in branded boxes.
He created an elaborate story that the goods were ‘Promotional or Gift items’ given out by the brand holders at prestigious international jewellery shows. As he said the items he sold were not available for retail sale, it was impossible for consumers to compare them against original products.
But he was locked up for three years at Cambridge Crown Court on Wednesday after an investigation by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Trading Standards team was launched following complaints from customers.
Donovan reverted to extreme lengths to distance himself from his criminal activities and frustrate the investigation, by using a number of aliases, usernames, email addresses, telephone numbers etc. and the creation of postal and fictitious accommodation addresses.
However, he pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulent trading and one of acquiring criminal property to the value of £76,355.50.
His wife Elizabeth Genovese (57), of Green Lane, Yaxley pleaded guilty to transferring criminal property, namely £76,355.50, to a bank account held by Donovan. She was given a five month sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Peter Gell, head of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards Service, said: “People should be aware that by purchasing counterfeit goods in their various guises you are having a detrimental effect on the livelihoods of legitimate businesses and their employees. This investigation has halted a counterfeiting enterprise worth thousands of pounds, and we hope this sends out a clear warning message to anyone else who thinks breaking the law is acceptable.”