"well-organised fraud with the backing of a legitimate company."
Five family members that were involved in a £500,000 counterfeit clothing operation were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court.
All residing in West Yorkshire, Amar Choudry, aged 38, Yasir Choudry, aged 30, Qaisar Choudry, aged 28, Faisal Choudry, aged 37 and Mudasar Alishan, aged 40, were given two-year prison sentences suspended for two years and 300 hours of unpaid work.
In addition to the sentences, Yasir and Qaisar Choudry were both banned from being directors of any limited companies for three years.
Their illegal operation breached trademarks of popular music bands such as Arctic Monkeys and Motorhead, a two-year investigation revealed by West Yorkshire Trading Standards.
They were selling the fake clothing they were producing online.
In addition to the family members, Stephen Carr, aged 42, was also part of the clothing conspiracy, where he was the supplier of the fake branded heat transfers used on the clothing.
Carr was given eight months in jail suspended for 18 months and 180 hours of unpaid work.
The investigation was instigated after private investigators Surelock International, who are representatives of leading brands tipped of the trading standards body.
The family were using industrial-scale screen printing to produce clothing which featured the copyrighted trademarks of major music artists, bands, films and sports teams.
These included The 1975, Ramones, Beyonce, 5 Seconds of Summer, Arctic Monkeys, Harry Potter, Ed Sheeran, Motorhead and Nirvana.
They ran a family business called YMC Clothing Limited, based in Bradford, using the trading slogan of Fresh and Funky. The counterfeit printing was all done here.
After illegally producing the clothing with no licences, they were selling them on eBay and Amazon globally using different accounts, including family member names.
Over a five year period, they sold £472,898 of the fake clothing, reported the Telegraph and Argus.
From the sales, the family began to flaunt their earnings by buying luxury cars and a number of properties.
Sentencing them, Judge Colin Burn stated that they were a “well-organised fraud with the backing of a legitimate company.”
Further investigations will now follow to recover the total extent of their benefit from their crimes.
Speaking about the case, Head of Trading Standards, David Lodge, said:
“The trade in counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime, it impacts directly on UK jobs and the high street.
“This service will continue to bring to justice those individuals seeking to benefit from the theft of intellectual property and take away the assets accrued through criminal conduct.”