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Home arrow Forgery News arrow Towyn conman sold fake ‘signed’ football shirts online

Towyn conman sold fake ‘signed’ football shirts online Print E-mail
Written by http://www.dailypost.co.uk   
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
One of the fake signed England shirts recovered by authorities
One of the fake signed England shirts recovered by authorities

AN eBay scammer made £86,000 in five months selling fake sports memorabilia.

Christian Cassidy advertised football shirts signed by stars including Pele and Ryan Giggs, but he was actually signing them himself – together with the certificates of authenticity to show they were “genuine”.

At the time of the World Cup he advertised England shirts signed by the 18-strong squad.

When police and trading standards officers raided his home they found an AC Milan shirt on a mannequin waiting to be “signed”, said prosecuting barrister Lee Reynolds.

There was a box of shirts in one corner, the mannequin in the middle where the shirts would be placed to be “signed” and then a box of the signed shirts on the other side.

Cassidy, 36, of Llys Madoc at Towyn, traded as Fantastic Sales 2009, which had several eBay accounts, on which he also sold signed photographs, flags, gloves, cups, programmes, golf clubs and helmets. Most were counterfeit.

Prosecuting barrister Lee Reynolds said trading standards officials seized a 1999 Grand Prix programme which it was alleged was going to be “signed” by the drivers before being sold.

Some motor racing helmets, falsely claimed to have been signed by stars like Michael Schumacher, had sold for £370.

Mold Crown Court heard that Cassidy even used other eBay accounts, including that of his wife, to make false show bids to inflate the prices.

The probe began in September 2009 when a representative of sports manufacturers Umbro bought a World Cup shirt off the site, and it turned out to be bogus.

Cassidy gave his address to receive a postal order as payment and trading standards officials were tipped off.

More than 1,600 items had been listed online by the defendant between April and September 2009 with more than £86,000 worth of sales going through the site.

Cassidy admitted fraudulent trading and sentence was deferred for four months to give him time to come up with the £25,000 it cost Conwy County Borough Council to investigate his activities.

Judge Niclas Parry told Cassidy that if the £25,000 was paid into court then the inevitable custodial sentence w

Cassidy’s wife Katsiaryna Cassidy, 30, of the same address – who followed the proceedings through a Russian interpreter – admitted two consumer protection charges after she admitted making show bids on her husband’s goods.

She was placed on a 12-month community order to carry out 150 unpaid hours of work and ordered to pay costs of £500.

The judge said it was a serious matter which financially impacted upon legitimate business.

“The owners of copyright must be protected,” he said.

There were financial consequences for businesses which could impact upon the employment of decent, ordinary, working men and women.

Cassidy was involved in fraudulent trading on a fairly large scale.

Those losing out were decent members of the public who were parting with their money “for goods which were a con”.

“You have to understand that offences such as this also have an effect upon eBay and it credibility as a legitimate trading market,” Judge Parry told him.

After the case, a spokesman for Conwy trading standards department said: “We will continue to vigorously pursue all traders who try to take advantage of consumers and jeopardise legitimate business.

“We at Conwy have a dedicated team policing internet crime and this case shows that people cannot hide behind anonymous internet identities.”

Officers said they had found a home-made poster on the wall, with a picture of the couple surrounded by dream holiday destinations and expensive cars.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 August 2011 )
 
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