Fake Rolex watch seller gets suspended jail sentence

A UK man who sold a massive £659,000-worth of counterfeit luxury watches has received a modest fine.

Jamie Thorpe (33) – who traded under the name Ludgate Watches – was fined just £28,000 despite selling thousands of counterfeit Rolex, Omega and Swatch brand watches to unsuspecting members of the public over many years. because he was considered to have few assets.

He was also sentenced to a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and 180 hours of community service.

Thorpe was investigated by West Sussex Trading Standards after a consumer complaint in December 2014, when a victim purchased a £2,425 Rolex watch from him via eBay which was confirmed as fake by the manufacturer.

After being tipped off, Trading Standards searched four addresses in West Sussex, Surrey and East Sussex, discovering fake watches, watch dials, watch straps, guarantee booklets and plastic tags. Computer files seized also showed evidence Thorpe forged Rolex documents to make the fakes appear genuine.

The Rolex Watch Company carried out test purchases on three Rolex dials from Ludgate Watches, before West Sussex Trading Standards bought a branded warranty book from the company.

West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, Debbie Kennard, said: “This case of fraud was one which went to elaborate lengths to deceive the public.”

“Our Trading Standards team pursued it vigorously to make sure justice was served.”

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