UK man ordered to repay money made selling fake car parts

A man from Gloucester, UK, has been ordered to pay back more than £43,000 (around $54,000) that he earned selling counterfeit car accessories including bonnet badges.

Cezary Sobieszuk (40) was forced to repay the money under the Proceeds of Crime Act after pleading guilty to four offences, including possession and intent to sell badges infringing trademarks held by carmakers BMW, VW, and Ford.

He ran a legitimate business selling car parts and spares but also had a side-line in fake car accessories through online markets including eBay, which he ran from a unit in Chase Lane, Gloucester.

After a tip-off, trading standards officers searched the unit in March 2018, when they seized mobile phones, computers and nearly 1,000 items valued at more than £9,000, all of which were examined and found to be counterfeit.

Some contained incorrect product codes, had been produced in different colour combinations to genuine items and were of inferior quality.

The investigation discovered that Sobieszuk had been selling the car badges under various company names.

Computer records showed he had been warned about the sale of fake VW accessories by the manufacturer in 2017 and that Amazon had blocked his account when he attempted to sell his fake car badges.

However when questioned, he denied fully understanding what counterfeit meant and claimed the items he sold were genuine.

Sobieszuk told trading standards officers that the items were samples, even though they found multiple copies of several designs and a number of envelopes ready for posting containing receipts for payment.

Analysis of his financial records confirmed payment for each of these items and identified further significant sales of car badges.

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