Two successful prosecutions by Cornwall Council Trading Standards

Residents were reminded to stay alert to counterfeit goods and fake services as three men behind counterfeiting and fraud offences committed across Cornwall were sentenced at Truro Crown Court last Friday (17 August 2018) following two prosecutions brought by Cornwall Council Trading Standards.

The first case saw two men sentenced after admitting charges relating to the largest counterfeiting operation ever discovered in Cornwall.

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Gregory William Whitehead, 48 from Tregrehan Mills, St Austell, and William Thomas Lemoyne, 35 from Camborne, had both pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to supply fake car accessories, toys and musical instrument accessories at an earlier hearing.

The prosecution was the culmination of a three year investigation into around £2.5 million worth of illegal sales and the seizure of over 100,000 fake items.

Whitehead was sentenced to 32 months immediate imprisonment and Lemoyne to 2 years imprisonment, suspended for two years.

In the second case, Martin Hobbs, the owner of an estate agents business in Millbrook, was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £22,500 after pleading guilty to five charges.

Hobbs, whose business MPH Estate Agents was based at The Parade in Millbrook, admitted four charges of false and misleading advertising under Consumer Protection legislation and admitted a further charge of obstructing an investigating officer by producing a fake letter of instruction.

He was fined £2,500 on each of the five charges and ordered to pay £10,000 towards the prosecution costs. He was further warned that a failure to pay those amounts in full by 28 February 2019 would result in him being sent to prison for 12 months.

In passing sentence His Honour Judge Carr told Hobbs “You committed a series of fraudulent trading. You decided to commit active fraud to enhance your business. Furthermore you have deliberately attempted to hide your resources from the court.”

Welcoming the results, Sue James, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection said “Whilst the vast majority of businesses in Cornwall are law abiding and provide excellent services, it is worth residents being aware of these three convictions and reflecting that if you are ever offered goods or services in a deal that seems too good to be true – then it usually is!”

Posted on 20 August 2018