Surrey counterfeiter sentenced to three years in prison
At Guildford Crown Court today (15 January), before HHJ Fraser, Trevor Arthur PEGG, a 61 year old man from Epsom in Surrey was sentenced to three years imprisonment following a two week trial in December 2014 when he was convicted on 13 counts relating to the running of a fraudulent business selling counterfeit DVDs on eBay and Play.com.
The investigation into PEGG was carried out by officers from Surrey Trading Standards Service, supported by evidence provided by officers from the Federation Against Copyright Theft.
The case culminated in the execution of a warrant at Pegg’s home in May 2013, assisted by officers from Surrey Police. PEGG ran an online shop on eBay and Play.com selling counterfeit DVDs that he imported from China in large quantities.
Titles sold included Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid’ and box sets of television programmes including ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ and ‘Borgen’. During the trial the court heard how PEGG had received a number of comments from his customers claiming that the DVDs were fake but he continued to deal in them. He refunded any customers who complained in order to maintain a high positive feedback rating but made no changes whatsoever to stock that he bought and sold. The jury heard how the business turned over around £600,000 in three years but failed to disclose any of this to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
In relation to the quantity of fake DVDs being sold, HHJ Fraser noted that "the numbers of DVDs were on any view significant". When PEGG had three separate consignments intercepted by Customs Officers working in partnership with the Federation Against Copyright Theft, rather than heeding the warnings, HHJ Fraser noted that Mr PEGG displayed an "apparent indifference to the cease and desist letters".
Mr PEGG will now be subject to confiscation proceedings to recover the proceeds of his criminal activity at a separate hearing later this year.