Counterfeit golf merchandise seller sentenced to 14 months

A Kidsgrove man has been sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, after selling counterfeit golfing goods on eBay.

Steven Bowler of Shakespeare Close, Kidsgrove was found guilty of one offence of fraudulent trading and 9 offences of infringing the Trade Marks Act between June 2015 and June 2017.

The 48-year-old was also ordered to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work as part of the sentence.

The investigation by Brand Fusion International Limited (who represent the ‘Super Stroke’ brand in the UK) and Staffordshire Trading Standards found Bowler buying counterfeit golf covers, club grips and t-shirts from China and selling them to customers worldwide as genuine on eBay. 

Gill Heath, cabinet member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council said: “This sentence against Mr Bowler is a great outcome for Staffordshire Trading Standards and is entirely fitting for the offending by this individual.

“Counterfeiting costs legitimate businesses dearly and damages the economy and the court has clearly taken these offences very seriously.

“This investigation is also an excellent example of partnership working in the fight against crime, which may subsequently lead to the recovery of assets obtained through criminality.  We will always consider, where appropriate, applying for the confiscation of assets from criminals involved in such activity.”

Forfeiture of the seized golf equipment has been granted to Trading Standards for disposal.

A Proceeds of Crime confiscation timetable has also been set and will be held at Stafford Crown Court.

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