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Counterfeit cleaning products trader washed up and banged up

A businessman who received an 18 month custodial sentence last year was sprung from Pentonville Prison this week. However, far from gaining his liberty, Mr Ali Riza Bozdag spent the day at a Proceeds of Crime hearing that saw him return to prison with a bill to pay of close to £100,000!

On 1 August last year Mr Bozdag, previously of Reedham Close, London, N17, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court to 18 months imprisonment after being found guilty on eight counts of selling counterfeit washing powder, shampoo and conditioner through his company, Red and Blue London Trading Ltd.

The successful prosecution was launched off the back of good work by Waltham Forest Council’s Trading Standards service that helped prove that Mr Bozdag had not exercised the relevant standard of care necessary to avoid committing an offence under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and had not acted as a responsible trader.

By virtue of Section 75(2) (a) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 these were deemed “Criminal Lifestyle” offences, and accordingly the Council mounted a further action to obtain a Confiscation Order. This saw Mr Bozdag make the short trip from where he is currently residing at Her Majesty’s pleasure on Caledonian Road, N7, back to Snaresbrook Crown Court, E11, on Monday (9 February).

During the hearing, Mr Bozdag agreed with Waltham Forest Council that his benefit amount in regards to his criminality was £123,000, however the Council’s Financial Investigator could only locate £79,432 in current assets. The Judge had no hesitation in making an order of realisable assets in that sum and indicated that if, or when, Mr Bozdag comes into future monies, the Financial Investigator would be able to demand he paid the £43,568 shortfall.

The judge ordered that Mr Bozdag paid the sum of £43,000.00 immediately, with the balance to be paid within six months. If Mr Bozdag fails to pay these monies in the timeframe set out by the Court, a default prison term of 18 months would be imposed. Under Proceeds of Crime legislation, Mr Bozdag would still have to pay these monies on his release from prison.

In addition to the Confiscation Order, Mr Bozdag was also ordered to pay Costs of £17,800 to Waltham Forest Council within six months, meaning he will need to hand over a total of £97,232 by August 2015.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “This is the latest in a series of recent Proceeds of Crime proceedings we have instigated and seen to a successful conclusion.

“It is really important that criminals are not only put before a Court for due punishment, but are also pursued for the monies they accrued as a result of their criminal activities. In this case he ended up behind bars, and he had his bank account wiped out. I hope this serves as a warning to others – crime does not pay!”

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