A MAN who made more than £350,000 by selling fake Pandora jewellery and charms was busted after his family home was raided by officers.

Usman Sadiq was found in possession of a large quantity of jewellery bearing the Pandora trademark, as well as packaging and wrapping depicting the company’s branding.

The father-of-two this week appeared at Preston Crown Court where it was heard PayPal accounts linked to the selling platform eBay, where he was trading the goods, had been in receipt of £368,518.81 over an 18-month period between May 2016 and November 2017.

Opening the case, Anthony Parkinson described how an investigation was launched after a Lancashire County Council trading officer purchased a Disney Pandora charm for £21.05, from an account named Sadiusma-0 and belonging to Sadiq.

Mr Parkinson explained how that item was later sent for examination where is was determined that the product was counterfeit, despite Sadiq claiming that all of the items on his account were real and genuine.

Once the results had been confirmed, the trading officer tried once again to access the seller’s account, but the page had been closed and the investigation came to an end.

Mr Parkinson said: “In January 2017 an entirely separate investigation into the selling of counterfeit Pandora jewellery was being carried out by Trading Standards in Chester.

“They came across an eBay seller with the registered name ‘Accessories-Store’.

“In February 2017 they started to investigate a second seller registered as ‘bloom-boutique’. The seller described the products being sold as ‘guaranteed to be genuine and authentic Pandora jewellery’.

“On 3 March 2017 a test purchase of a Disney-themed Pandora charm was made.

“The item was received and sent for examination which confirmed it to be a counterfeit charm.

“Enquiries with E-Bay revealed that bloom-boutique was a reincarnation of Accessories-Store and Sadiusma-0.

“The accounts were registered to the defendant and enquiries revealed his home address in Rossendale.”

He continued: “In October, a search warrant was executed at the defendant’s home address. During the search a number of Pandora items were recovered.

“The items included both jewellery, packaging and labelling that would likely increase the buyer’s confidence that the items were genuine.

“All of the items were examined and found to be counterfeit.”

The court heard how a month later another online purchase was made by a trading standards officer for £43.60. Again, the items were sent for analysis and found to be fake.

Mr Parkinson added: “This offence took place within a month of the search of the defendant’s premises. The prosecution say it clearly shows the defendant was undeterred by the knowledge that trading standards must have been aware of his activities.”

Further investigative work showed that the defendant had used PayPal to transfer the proceeds of sales into a bank account registered to his wife and that it was clear he had been running a highly profitable business.

He had been trading since at least May 2016 and continued through to November 2017 receiving in excess of £350,000 in sales proceeds during this time, it was heard.

The defendant was interviewed on 11 May when he denied the offences, claiming he believed that the items were genuine.

It was also heard how Sadiq, 38, was of previous good character.

Sentencing Sadiq, of Carr Farm Close, Rawtenstall, to two years in prison, suspended for two years, Judge Simon Medland QC described the crimes as ‘fraud against the public.’ He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work for the five counts of trademark offences he had previously pleaded guilty to.

Confiscation and costs were ordered at an earlier hearing in September for amounts of £129.753.01 and £4,316.46.