Clothing pirate must cough up the proceeds of his crime
By JulieGK | Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 21:33
A pirate T-shirt trader has been forced to cough up more than £200,000 at Wood Green Crown Court after action by council Trading Standards officers to recover the proceeds of his crimes.
This is the first time Trading Standards Officers have taken action under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Speaking after the hearing Councillor Nilgun Canver, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: "The Proceeds of Crime Act is specifically designed to prevent criminals from benefitting financially from their crimes.
"This is the first time Trading Standards officers have used this legislation and I hope it will provide a massive deterrent to anyone who thinks they can benefit from large scale illegal activity in the borough.
"Counterfeiting takes away jobs from the local economy as legitimate businesses cannot compete on a level playing field with those that operate illegally."
Mark Blenkiron, of Shock Horror Ltd, was found guilty in 2010 of producing and selling counterfeit T-shirts. He received a 15 month jail sentence.
Blenkiron had been selling on the internet thousands of counterfeit T-shirts, ripping-off bands such as Queen, Led Zeppelin and Guns N' Roses.
Following his conviction, council Trading Standards officers sought to recover the proceeds of Blenkiron's criminal activity.
The confiscation hearing at Wood Green Crown Court on 22 November determined that Blenkiron had profited by £209,561.50 and that this should be confiscated.
Blenkiron may have to sell properties he owns in the UK and Spain to satisfy the Confiscation Order, which must be paid within 6 months. He will face a prison sentence of 2 years 6 months if he fails to pay on time.
Blenkiron was also found to be in contempt of court for opening a bank account in breach of a restraint order during the investigation process, for which he was additionally fined £5,500. Blenkiron was also ordered to pay full prosecution costs of £22,000.
The confiscated money will be divided between HM Treasury, the police, the court and Haringey Trading Standards.