Mum sentenced to pay back £140,000 for selling fake band t-shirts on eBay, or face jail
A woman has been ordered to pay back the £140,000 she earned selling fake music T-shirts on the internet, or face jail.
Johanna Donnelly sold unlicensed merchandise from groups including Foo Fighters, The Stone Roses, The Stranglers, The Clash and Led Zeppelin, earning £250,000 over three years.
Donnelly used his own website and eBay account to sell the gear to fans using the bands trademarks.
When some of the T-shirts were analyzed by business standards experts in Newport, South Wales, they discovered that they were not authentic and that Donnelly had used a fake company name.
The mother answered “no comment” to all the questions put to her, according to Cardiff Crown Court. He later pleaded guilty to 20 counts of sales and trademark infringement [vía Daily Mail].
PayPal’s sales figures for copyright infringing products were £11,617.26, while another account had sales of £1,283.38. The last recorded sale was by The Clash on 13 May 2019.
The recoverable assets were £141,655, which Judge David Wynn ordered Morgan to return to Donnelly within three months. If he doesn’t, he will serve five months in prison.
Donnelly must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and 10 days of rehabilitation.
The news comes after Big Hit Music denied “unauthorized use” of BTS’s trademark ahead of the band’s “Yet To Come” concert in Busan last year, when the record label said it would crack down on the “counterfeit” merchandise.
The statement, written in Korean and English, was posted on Big Hit Music’s official social media last October. The record label revealed that it had taken “severe action against companies that were repeatedly producing, selling and distributing products that infringed on BTS’ likeness and trademark rights (“infringing products”).”
Big Hit also announced plans to conduct “on-site audits and investigations of counterfeit products” in and around the concert venue.