A Mansfield Woodhouse man has been ordered to pay back £8,000 he made in proceeds from selling counterfeit tobacco and cigarettes at a Nottingham Crown Court hearing today (Friday 19 October).
James Thomas, 52 of St James Gardens, was convicted to a 100-hour community punishment order in August for offences under Trade Marks Act 1994 Act and Tobacco Products Safety Regulations 2002.
Now Thomas has also been ordered to repay £8,000 following a Proceeds of Crime investigation by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards.
At the Proceeds of Crime hearing Thomas was told that he has four months to pay it or will receive a three-month prison sentence in default of non-payment and was also ordered to pay £3,000 in costs.
The property of Thomas was raided by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards, Nottinghamshire Police and HM Customs last October after information was received that he was selling counterfeit tobacco around local pubs in the area.
Of the goods seized 7.3kg of rolling tobacco and 384 packets of cigarettes were found to be counterfeit. Some of the products seized were counterfeit copies of genuine brands, including Golden Virginia tobacco and Regal cigarettes.
Councillor Mick Murphy, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said: “Counterfeit tobacco has a massive impact on the public as it reduces tax revenue for essential services such healthcare and care for the elderly. It is also likely to contain higher levels of harmful substances.
“Traders of counterfeit tobacco put profit before anything else so successful Proceeds of Crime cases hit these offenders where it hurts and helps ensure their crimes do not pay.”
To report someone who you believe is selling counterfeit goods call the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06.