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Council Puts the Brakes on Fake Wheel Badge Scammer

A man has been given a suspended prison sentence after he was prosecuted by Waltham Forest Council Trading Standards for possessing of a number of counterfeit car wheel badges intended for sale featuring the logos of car brands including BMW, Ford, Volkswagen and Jaguar.


Mr Jie Wu was charged with five offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 after a bag containing counterfeit wheel badges were found in a house in Leyton in September 2014.


Mr Wu, of Commonwealth Drive, Crawley, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 28 February 2017, where he pleaded guilty on all five counts. He was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months; 180 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.


Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment said: “This prosecution sends out a strong message to anyone who thinks they can get away with dealing in fake goods in Waltham Forest. We don’t want anyone to spend their hard earned cash on counterfeit items which often turn out to be faulty, poor quality or dangerous.


“We’ll always seek to prosecute anyone we catch dealing in counterfeit goods in our borough, and the sentence handed down by the court shows how seriously offences like this are being taken.”


The five counts Mr Wu was charged with related to possessing wheel centre badges which bore signs identical or likely to be mistaken for registered trade marks belonging to BMW AG, Jaguar Land Rover Ltd, Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Company and Daimler AG.


Trading Standards officers executed a warrant on a property in Dunedin Road in Leyton after receiving information about counterfeit wheel badges being sold on eBay. They were accompanied by officers from the police and a trademark representative from BMW.


Mr Wu answered the door at the property, and during an inspection a holdall was found containing the car wheel badges, which Mr Wu confirmed was his. The holdall was seized along with three laptops, three hard drives and two mobile phones, which were sent for forensic analysis by the National Trading Standards E-Crime team. The analysis found that Mr Wu has access to two eBay accounts which sold trademarked car wheel badges.


Counterfeit crime has proved to be linked to organised crime and gives no protection to the consumer.  The production and distribution of counterfeit products capitalises on well-known company names and brands. Consumers who buy counterfeit goods such as wheel badges are at risk of purchasing low-calibre goods with no comeback when the goods are faulty.


Waltham Forest residents can report counterfeit goods through their My Account at www.walthamforest.gov.uk or by emailing trading.standards@walthamforest.gov.uk.


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