Counterfeiter sold fake phone cases
A counterfeiter turned one of his bedrooms into the centre for his illicit nationwide trading empire.
Thirty three-year-old Michael Ducker earned thousands of pounds selling mobile phone covers decorated with Premier League football clubs crests and logos.
After a complaint from Swansea City FC, Ducker and his company Superskins Ltd based at his home on Orchid Way, South Shore, were raided by Trading Standards officers.
Ducker and the company each admitted 14 counterfeiting offences and both defendants each admitted one money laundering offence at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Lynda Bennett, prosecuting for Blackpool Council Trading Standards, said Swansea City had alerted the department that Ducker and his firm had no licence of permission to use the club’s crest.
Officers made test purchases from Superskins Ltd of phone covers bearing the Everton and Chelsea logos.
Armed with a warrant they raided the Orchid Way premises. In the garage they found a large amount of stock.
“They found a bedroom which had been converted into an office,” said the prosecutor. “Inside the room was a high class copier and printer and a jig cutter.
“1,956 blank phone cases were found and on eBay and PayPal records on the computer. The officers found sales amounting to £11,000 in one period had been banked.”
Ducker was interviewed and told officers that he thought he had done nothing wrong and that the 14 Premier League clubs involved did not sell mobile phone covers themselves.
His lawyer Adrian Williams said that Ducker was ex-Royal Navy and after he came out of the service was ambitious and wanted to start a business.
“He had a friend who produced these sort of cases but they were of poor quality,” said the lawyer.
The court heard that even the phrase “Black Cats” used by Sunderland was subject to copyright law as were the letters “C.O.Y.S” which stood for Come on You Spurs.
Ducker had even applied for a business loan for his project.
Mr Williams added: “He did not realise these sort of things were subject to copyright legislation.”
Magistrates sent Ducker and the firm for sentence at Preston Crown Court, where they will also be the subject of Proceeds of Crime applications by the council.