eBay Welcomes Cambridgeshire Conviction

eBay today welcomes the sentencing of a Cambridgeshire woman for trademark violations in the UK and...

eBay today welcomes the sentencing of a Cambridgeshire woman for trademark violations in the UK and reinforced its commitment to tackling counterfeits online.

For the past eighteen months officers from Cambridgeshire Constabulary and members of eBay’s Special Investigations team have been working together to secure the conviction of Georgina Pettit, after they discovered she was selling counterfeit designer goods through the online auction site.

Richard Ambrose, Head of Trust and Safety for eBay UK, said: Counterfeits are bad for Rights Owners and for eBay. The availability of these items undermines the trust our buyers have in the site. We will continue to do everything we can to tackle counterfeits on our site and working closely with law enforcement agencies like the police and trading standards is a vital part of this fight.”

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.

Ambrose added: “This collaborative approach with law enforcement agencies has led to a 25 per cent reduction in the number of people having a bad experience or being defrauded on eBay in 2008, sending a clear signal to criminals that they won’t get away with illegal activity on our site."

In her defence Pettit had claimed that the merchandise in question had initially been purchased on eBay. The transparent nature of eBay meant that the online auction site was quickly able to prove that this was not the case and that Pettit had clearly obtained the counterfeit goods from elsewhere.

DC Graham Ord of Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: "The public need to understand that if they purchase designer goods wholesale, then they should make all reasonable enquiries to ascertain that the person selling the goods has acquired them through legitimate means.

"Georgina Pettit has had her assets restrained under the Proceeds of Crime Act and has been dealt with by the court."

Ms Pettit has been sentenced to 175 hours of unpaid work for each of the eight counts, to run concurrently.

eBay spends over £10 million annually on maintaining a safe site and has over 2,000 employees around the world to help with the fight against counterfeits.