A businesswoman in Stoke-on-Trent has been ordered to pay over £5000 after counterfeit designer goods were discovered in her tanning salon.
Tracey Bell, 53, who runs Alsager Tanning Studio, has been granted three months to pay the fee by Cheshire East Council, or face three months in prison.
It follows a successful raid by investigators from Cheshire East Council.
Counterfeit bags, accessories, make-up and footwear were amongst the goods discovered.
The fake product were labelled under internationally acclaimed brands: Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Beats. If genuine, the items are thought to have been worth up to £100,000.
Goods were acquired during a test purchase operation conducted by the investigators, who found goods on the premises, as well as on Facebook.
Bell was handed a four-week prison sentence, 12 month suspension, and a six-moth supervision order for the offences.
Following this, Cheshire East Trading Standards launched a financial investigation, to which led a separate hearing at Chester Crown Court on 20 July 2018.
Of the case, Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“Although buying a fake designer handbag, watch or sunglasses might be seen as a ‘victimless’ way to get something desirable on the cheap, the money made from the trade in these types of goods is often used to fund significant criminal activity and impacts genuine businesses. Such goods are also often unsafe and pose a significant safety risk.”
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Sources: https://www.crewechronicle.co.uk/news/fake-goods-dealer-alsager-told-14970137, https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/investigators-raid-tanning-salon-find-1846010