Fake watch kingpin jailed again for breaking court order

A man jailed for selling fake designer watches in the UK last year has been sent down again after breaching a restraining order immediately after his release.

Londoner Warren Chung-Williams (38) – who ran online watch retailer Wristy Business - pleaded guilty to offences of selling counterfeit goods and possessing fakes with intention to supply in June 2019 after a Trading Standards investigation revealed he was selling knock-off Emporio Armani and Michael Kors watches.

He was originally jailed for two years and six months, and has been sentenced to a further 10 months for contempt of court for “dissipating” more than £250,000 ($325,000) that should have been restrained and unused.

Within minutes of being released, he broke the restraining order – intended to prevent him cashing in on the proceeds of his criminal activity – by selling two vehicles, opening eight new bank accounts and transferring monies within the accounts, and making arrangements to have £113,000 paid into an account of which the prosecution was unaware at the time.

Chung-Williams also used an account in a false name, opened using a false passport, and siphoned money away using a company that he had not declared to the prosecution, all the while continuing to sell watches through a new business called Watch Spot. There’s no word yet on whether those new sales were for counterfeit or genuine items.

The breaches were discovered by financial investigators at North Yorkshire Trading Standards and the North East Regional Economic Crime Unit (RECU).

"You received the restraint order at 4pm. At 4.06pm you received an email from someone in relation to putting a very substantial sum into your bank account. Immediately you set about using a system of a false bank account, in a false name, and diverted money to an account set up to be as untraceable as you could make it,” said the judge in the case.

“It is hard to think of a more glaring example of financial deception.”

Chung-Williams has also been made the subject of a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), which concluded he had made more than £1.5m from his original offences and will have to pay around £37,000 within three months or face another 18 months in prison.

Wristy Business sold watches through its own website as well as through other sites like Wowcher, Fruugo and Secret Sales. Chung-Williams operated the scam by buying fake watches from China along with packaging and bar codes used to make the watches appear genuine.

A raid on a storage unit linked to the business revealed 1,800 counterfeit watches.

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