A former teacher who sold counterfeit Pandora charms online has been ordered to pay back £100,000.
Cheshire West and Chester Trading Standards brought the case against 49-year-old Suzanne Piercy after an investigation into the sale of counterfeit Pandora jewellery being sold on an online auction site. She was sentenced to 16 months in prison in April this year.
But Piercy, of Sutherland Way in Vicars Cross, was back in Chester Crown Court on Friday (December 8) for a Proceeds of Crime Hearing, when a Confiscation Order was made for £100,000 to be paid within three months – she could face 18 months in prison if she fails to pay the money.
Piercy imported counterfeit charms from contacts in Germany and Hong Kong and sold them online using a significant number of listings, under the name of Zacsfactor.
She admitted fraudulent trading and two trademark offences between March 2014 and June 2016 earlier this year. From March 2015 to June 2016 she had sold 15,494 Pandora products grossing over £300,000.
The council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Karen Shore, said: “This is the end result of a very complex investigation. This case was listed for a Proceeds of Crime hearing to recover the proceeds from what was a substantial counterfeiting operation.
“Our Trading Standards officers protect residents across Cheshire West by investigating the sale of counterfeit products.
“I would ask Cheshire West residents to seriously think twice about supporting this kind of activity when doing their Christmas shopping. Buying counterfeit goods online may appear to be an attractive and cheap alternative but they are, by their very nature, inferior products and are often unsafe.
“Counterfeiting is an illegal activity which affects the livelihoods of legitimate, hardworking businesses. We will take action against anyone found selling counterfeit products in Cheshire West and Chester.”