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Trader admits selling counterfeit clothes - but blames Chinese suppliers
9:37am Friday 19th October 2012 in Latest
A MAN pleaded guilty to selling fake luxury fashion out of Bournemouth Airport.
Christopher Vailes, 27, from Hurn Way in Christchurch, claimed he was duped by Chinese suppliers but admitted six offences at Bournemouth Magistrates Court.
He was the director of Kick Stores Limited, based at Cirrus Court, and sold goods online after importing them from China.
Francisca da Costa, prosecuting for Dorset County Council Trading Standards, said officers bought a New Era cap for £18.99 and a pair of Nike trainers for £65.94 and both turned out to be fake.
Officers executed a search warrant last May and seized 147 items.
All the specimens sent off for testing also turned out to be counterfeit.
Vailes admitted five charges of selling counterfeit goods, which also included Louis Vuitton boots, a Ralph Lauren T-Shirt, and more Nike Trainers.
He also admitted one charge of a making a false claim on the company website by saying it had established industry relationships over 20 years.
Kick Stores was only incorporated in 2010.
Miss DeCosta said the firm mainly used PayPoint for sales and records showed customers spent more than £66,000.
The defendant told the court: “Everything I brought into the country and sold on, I sold in good faith, and I personally feel I was duped by the suppliers.
“The products I dealt with aren’t high street products, they are one-off limited edition lines, so it’s increasingly difficult to determine what is correct and what isn’t.”
Sentencing was adjourned for reports until November 22.
District Judge Roger House told Vailes that the sentence was likely to be a community punishment.
After the case, principal trading standards officer Richard Herringshaw told the Echo: “Traditionally, counterfeit goods were sold in markets but we are seeing that drop-off.
“We think they are moving towards online sales and people buying on the Internet need to be careful about who they are dealing with.”