A trader, who made more than £659,000 selling fake Rolex watches in West Sussex, has been prosecuted by West Sussex Trading Standards.
Jamie Thorpe 33, from Lewes, who was trading under the name Ludgate Watches, sold counterfeit watches and parts and even tampered with official Rolex warranty booklets, according to a county council spokesman.
He was ordered to pay £28,000 at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday 8 February.
Thorpe was investigated by Trading Standards after a consumer complaint in December 2014, when a victim purchased a £2,425 Rolex watch from him via eBay, the spokesman said.
On receiving the watch, she immediately believed it to be counterfeit and confirmed it with a Rolex dealer.
The investigation revealed Thorpe had received £659,043.20 from his illegal selling, confirmed the spokesman.
He offered to pay £28,000 plus a further £659.26 in compensation, according to the spokesman and – as Thorpe has nothing of value that can be recovered – this was accepted.
If he fails to pay the full sum in three months, he will be ordered to serve a nine month prison sentence and will still owe the money on his release, the spokesman said.
Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “Our Trading Standards team have done an excellent job once again.
“Deceiving people into buying fake items is a serious offence that hurts both innocent buyers and legitimate businesses.
“I hope this outcome will deter anyone tempted to sell counterfeit goods in West Sussex.”
Richard Sargeant, West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “We always encourage consumers to use traders from the Buy with Confidence scheme, the members of which are audited and approved by Trading Standards.
“Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an unfair trading practice, should contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or online via www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport.”