Online trader hit with suspended jail term for £47,000 t-shirt scam run from shed

From the courts
From the courts

An online trader who made £47,000 in a year by printing and selling fake t-shirts has been handed a six month suspended jail term.

Derbyshire County Council prosecuted Steven Shaw, 39, of Baslow Close, Sawley, after a complaint that he was selling counterfeit shirts on eBay.

He pleaded guilty to ten offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 in relation to his sale and possession for sale of various t-shirts printed with infringing copies of registered trade marks.

Yesterday at Derby Crown Court Shaw was sentenced to six month prison terms for each offence to run concurrently, suspended for a year.

Shaw ran a screen printing business from a shed in the garden of his home, using a printing machine which was capable of printing 12 t-shirts at a time.

At busy times he was selling up to 80 t-shirts per day on the internet.

Shaw bought plain t-shirts for as little as 83p, printed them with fake logos − including Motorhead, Volkswagen and Joy Division − and sold them for prices of up to £8.99.

Enquiries made by the county council’s trading standards officers revealed over £47,000 had gone into Shaw’s Paypal account from t-shirt sales on e-Bay between October 2010 and September 2011.

Cllr Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are pleased with the outcome of this prosecution which again sends out a clear message to traders who are tempted to make and sell counterfeit goods.

“Not only are fake products poor value for buyers, their sale also affects the livelihoods of legitimate traders who are working hard to earn a living, and we will pursue court action to protect consumers and honest traders.”

The county council has now applied for a Proceeds of Crime hearing to recover the money Shaw has made through his criminal activities.