The successful prosecution of Gary Simpson followed investigative work carried out by Surelock.
Gary Simpson made copies of bands including One Direction, Justin Bieber and JLS and made counterfeit prints onto clothing he then sold via eBay.
A forger who sold thousands of items of fake One Direction merchandise has been ordered to pay the state his £140,000 ill-gotten gains.
Gary Simpson worked as an amateur football club kitman and used equipment intended for printing numbers on strips to turn out bogus boy band tops. Simpson, 56, of Walkden, had no licence to use popstars’ branding, but fans snapped up £16.99 items bearing crude copies of logos belonging to idols One Direction, Justin Bieber, JLS, The Wanted, Olly Murs and Westlife.
A Manchester Crown Court proceeds of crime act hearing was told Simpson made just short of £140,000 from his illegal sideline. He has now been ordered to give up the profits after an investigation into his assets.
They include his home, £50,000 equity in a property bought by his wife, the contents of his bank account, a Citroen Berlingo, his business equipment and a health insurance policy.
He made the kit on equipment intended for printing names and numbers on football strips
Judge Andrew Blake told him he must pay within six months – or face 27 months in jail.
Last year Simpson was has given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting eleven trademark offences over two years.
His sentencing hearing was told he was a ‘decent’ man who turned to counterfeiting as his legitimate industrial workwear business faltered and debts piled up.
He was caught out after a representative of the firm which owns JLS’s copyright made a test purchase from Simpson’s eBay page, and found the hoodie he received was counterfeit and poor quality.
Salford trading standards started an investigation, leading to a raid in February on Simpson’s address at Fairfield Road, Walkden and his Worsley warehouse.
During the search, Simpson admitted he printed the fakes at Swinton’s Moorside Rangers.
Nicholas Courtney, prosecuting, said: “He admitted he had been using equipment at the football club to apply bands’ logos to clothing. He would find the relevant logos on the internet and download them as templates, and send them to the cutting machine at the football club.
“The counterfeit goods part of the business had been extremely busy – £15,000 in the three months prior to Christmas. Blank hooded tops cost £5.70 plus VAT, and he was able to use the club’s facilities rent-free as he worked there as a volunteer assisting with the kit, so overheads were very limited, selling 25 garments a day. It seems clear, on any basis, the defendant was doing a substantial trade.”
Manchester Evening News