Surelock had, as part of ongoing anti-counterfeit investigations, identified the eBay and web site of Fonfella as selling several of our music artists counterfeit garments. We subsequently made test purchases and carried out our observations to establish the location of the business. These findings were reported to Sutton Trading Standards and a joint operation commenced, culminating in the raid.
A couple who made fake One Direction and Race for Life merchandise in their garden shed have been ordered to pay £75,000. Jason and Natalie Robertson sold counterfeit hoodies, baseball caps, wristbands and other clothing on eBay from their home in Sutton, Surrey. The couple, who traded under the name Fonfella Ltd, also made Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran products without the official trademarks.
They were also deemed to have deprived Cancer Research UK of donations by producing fake Race for Life merchandise. The pair took images from the internet and produced the goods in a shed in their back garden before posting them on the auction site and their own website.
Council trading standards officers raided the couple’s house after a tip-off and seized a haul with a street value of £10,000.
The Robertson’s were sentenced at Croydon Crown Court in September after pleading guilty to 12 charges contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994. Mr Robertson, 43, and Mrs Robertson, 32, were fined £165 for each charge. They were also forced to pay prosecution costs of £11,845, and a confiscation order of £75,000
Council leader Ruth Dombey said: ‘It’s outrageous that a cancer charity was used as part of this scam. People who thought they were making a donation to a very good cause have been conned. Counterfeit goods are never the same quality as the real thing. There could have been a lot disappointed families who would have ended up with sub-standard clothes. It is also unfair on our legitimate businesses who are gearing up for the Christmas period.’
Simon Ledsham, director of trading at Cancer Research UK, said: ‘We’re hugely grateful to everyone who supports our work to beat cancer sooner by buying our products. When customers purchase items from Cancer Research UK stores or through our online shop, 100 per cent of the profit goes to our pioneering research. Needless to say, we are pleased with the outcome of the case.’
The council has said it will recycle the confiscated goods.