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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Man who sold counterfeit football kits ordered to pay £118,000

A Bradford man who sold counterfeit football shirts on social media has been ordered to pay more than £118,000 or be sent to prison.

In 2022, Sajid Hussain was convicted of selling fake clothing which included Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal football kits.

Last week a confiscation order was made against Hussain requiring him to pay £118,235 – just some of the money he is thought to have made through his criminal activity.

Hussain used pages such as Facebook Marketplace to sell fake kits at around £28 a strip.

When he pleaded guilty to the offences in May 2022, Hussain, then of Mill Race Lane in the Girlington area, was given a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

The recent confiscation hearing found that the benefit from the offending was £332,907.

The £118,235 that was confiscated from Hussain is made up of money in his  bank accounts totalling £7,709, with the remaining £110,525 being tainted gifts and hidden assets which he still has to repay otherwise he will be ordered to serve a custodial sentence, said West Yorkshire Trading Standards (WYTS).

Hussain had been arrested after an investigation by WYTS.

Test purchases were conducted in June 2019 by brand holders of a Manchester United kit, which were found to be counterfeit.

In August 2019, WYTS received a package from Leeds Bradford Airport, intended for the defendant, containing 39 counterfeit items. Investigations revealed that Hussain’s PayPal account had total sales of £161,000 between January 2017 and August 2019.

A linked eBay account was also located with trademarked items listed as having been sold.

WYTS, along with police and brand protection officers from Nike and Adidas, executed a warrant in January 2020 at the home address of the defendant, and counterfeit items were seized. Financial enquiries uncovered evidence of the sale of counterfeit items through the defendant’s personal bank accounts.

Hussain pleaded guilty to 26 counts of unauthorised possession and distribution of trademarks and was sentenced in May 2022.

Linda Davis, WYTS manager said: “The Proceeds of Crime Act allows us to recoup a criminal’s benefit from crime via confiscation orders, and we will pursue and recover assets of those involved in this type of offending, ensuring they cannot use their ill-gotten gains to further their illegal enterprises.”

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