Eight months in prison for fake clothes racket

Central Bedfordshire Council
Central Bedfordshire Council

A man who raked in more than £53,000 from selling counterfeit clothes has been handed an eight-month jail sentence.

Nilupul Hettiarachchige, of Acacia Rd, Bedford, admitted eight charges, including knowingly taking part in running a fraudulent business, after being raided by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards team.

Hettiarachchige’s operation ran from November 2012 until October 2014 before the council’s team raided his house and seized items of clothing, printing equipment and computers.

The business included selling fake t-shirts and hoodies on well-known websites, such as Amazon and eBay. Seized garments have been de-branded and sent to charities to be resold or distributed.

Executive Member for Community Services Cllr Brian Spurr said: “This is another superb result for our Trading Standards team who work tirelessly to catch people like this.

“While there may be a temptation in making some quick cash by making and selling counterfeit goods it is against the law and as this case has proven, you could face time in prison for your criminal activities.”

The issue of forfeiture of computer and printing equipment, along with prosecution costs, will be decided in August when there will be a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

The council will be seeking to obtain all of the proceeds made from Hettiarachchige’s illegal activity.