Company ordered to pay £37k for distributing counterfeit clothing from Hertfordshire warehouse

Published: 30 Jan 2018

A company has pleaded guilty to distributing counterfeit clothing and footwear following a successful prosecution by Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards.

Ideal Commercials (UK) Limited bought falsely branded goods from Turkey which they then supplied to other European destinations from their warehouse near Buntingford.

At St Albans Crown Court on Monday the company admitted three offences relating to the distribution of counterfeit clothing and footwear, covering a period from May 2015 to January 2016, contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994.

Recorder Tipples QC ordered the confiscation of company cash and assets, totalling £37,338 which had been restrained by Hertfordshire Trading Standards, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  She also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of over 10,000 units of clothing and footwear.

The company arranged for the poor quality goods to be sent to Hertfordshire from Turkey, for onward supply to Europe. The subterfuge involved addressing the incoming packages with fake UK addresses, near to the actual distribution centre – an anonymous looking industrial unit near Buntingford.  The packages reached the warehouse through an informal arrangement with couriers. The packages were then relabelled and sent abroad.

Councillor Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Waste Management, said: “We will not tolerate this criminal activity.  To call this a business is disrespectful to those legitimate Hertfordshire traders who are law abiding.”

“Trading Standards will continue to work with other agencies and share intelligence to catch those that flout the law.”