"which confirmed it to be a counterfeit charm."
Usman Sadiq, aged 38, of Rawtenstall, Lancashire, received a suspended sentence after an investigation revealed he made over £350,000 by selling fake Pandora jewellery on eBay.
Preston Crown Court heard that PayPal accounts were linked to eBay had been in receipt of £368,518.81 over an 18-month period between May 2016 and November 2017.
Anthony Parkinson, prosecuting, said an investigation was launched after a Lancashire County Council trading officer purchased a Disney Pandora charm for £21.05, from an account named Sadiusma-o which belonged to Sadiq.
The item was later examined and it was found to be a fake, despite Sadiq claiming that all of the items on his account were genuine.
Once the results had been confirmed, the trading officer tried to access the seller’s account, however, the page had been closed and the investigation ended.
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 eBay 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.”
Sadiq’s fake business was busted when officers raided his family home.
Mr Parkinson 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.”
A month later, another online purchase was made by a trading standards officer for £43.60. The items were analysed 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 investigations showed that Sadiq had used PayPal to transfer the ill-gotten gains to a bank account in his wife’s name. It established that he had been running a highly profitable business.
Sadiq was interviewed and he denied the offences, claiming he believed that the jewellery was legitimate. He later pleaded guilty to five counts of trademark offences.
It was heard that Sadiq was of previous good character.
Judge Simon Medland QC described the crimes as “fraud against the public”.
Sadiq was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
Lancashire Telegraph reported that at an earlier hearing in September 2020, confiscation and costs were ordered for amounts of £129,753.01 and £4,316.46.