eBay Welcomes Aberdeenshire Conviction

eBay today welcomed the sentencing of a north-east woman for possession of counterfeit clothing and...

eBay today welcomed the sentencing of a north-east woman for possession of counterfeit clothing and reinforced its commitment to tackling counterfeits online.

For over two years, Consumer Protection officers from Aberdeenshire Council and members of eBay’s Fraud Investigations team have been working together to secure the conviction of Fiona Begg, after they discovered she had large quantities of counterfeit jeans, shirts and jackets which she intended to supply to consumers across the UK.

In July 2006 officers from Aberdeenshire’s Consumer Protection Service searched Mrs Begg’s home and seized the goods.

Richard Ambrose, Head of Trust and Safety for eBay UK, said: “Begg’s conviction sends out a clear signal to people who try to sell counterfeits on our site that they won’t get away with it. We work closely with many law enforcement agencies, like Aberdeenshire’s Consumer Protection service to tackle counterfeits, as these items are bad for our buyers and our respectable sellers, as they undermine the trust people have in our site.

“We will continue to do everything we can to tackle counterfeits and prevent them from ever being sold on eBay. Our collaborative work with law enforcement agencies on cases such as this has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of people buying a fake on eBay in 2008.”

In 2007, with the help of 18,000 Right Owners, eBay removed over 2 million potentially counterfeited listings and suspended approximately 50,000 members from its sites.

Kevin Fleurs, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “This has been one of the largest anti-counterfeiting investigations conducted in Aberdeenshire and because the goods were being sold via the internet across the UK it has not just been a local issue.

“This prosecution should serve as a warning to anybody tempted to sell counterfeit goods in Aberdeenshire that this service will fully investigate any sellers of such goods and the matter will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Cllr Peter Argyle, chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “I am pleased that this investigation by Aberdeenshire Council’s Consumer Protection Service has resulted in the successful prosecution of a person involved in the supply of counterfeit goods.

“Trademark and copyright theft costs legitimate businesses millions and leaves consumers disappointed and out of pocket. At a time when economic survival is threatened it is in no one’s interest that counterfeiters should continue in business.”

Mrs Begg has been sentenced to 300 hours community service.

eBay spends over £6 million annually on maintaining a safe site and has over 2,000 employees around the world to help with the fight against counterfeits.