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Hapton trader denies selling fake Ralph Lauren clothes
11:00am Thursday 31st May 2012 in News
AN online trader in East Lancashire has denied selling counterfeit Ralph Lauren polo shirts after a raid by consumer watchdogs.
More than 600 fake tops and a hoard of wallets and key fobs were seized from the Hapton home of Angela Carus, who trades as Looniejuice, Reedley magistrates heard.
She sold Ralph Lauren shirts for between £30 and £35 – the recommended retail price is closer to £85 or £90, the court was told.
Trading standards bosses say Carus, of Carter Avenue, should have had an inkling that the merchandise was bogus after a number of complaint emails via the eBay website.
But Carus, who traded via eBay and her own company website, has insisted that she made every effort to double-check the authenticity of their clothing, which came from a number of suppliers.
Carus and her company have denied two offences of selling goods bearing a false trademark and three charges of possessing goods with a false trademark.
The other charges relate to 43 Tommy Hilfiger wallets and 49 key fobs, and 84 Facton Kft and G-Star International branded items.
Joanna Vicary, prosecuting on behalf of Lancashire County Council trading standards, said the polo shirts were discovered in an attic at Carus’ home.
An official from Ralph Lauren confirmed that the tops were counterfeit, mainly due to deficiencies with the logo and labelling.
Interviewed by senior trading standards officer Michael Craig, Carus said she had run checks with some of the firms she was dealing with. And she had compared some of the items with her own Ralph Lauren purchases.
The court heard that the company had been trading for around 18 months to two years before the June 2011 raid. Carus, who is also general manager of a logistics firm, also sold Monsoon and Burtons clothing.
The trial was adjourned until July 20.