19th March 2019

Woman sentenced for online fakes

A woman from Sutton, South London, has been convicted of selling counterfeit superhero costumes online.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
This shocking case demonstrates how seriously the courts take the sale of unsafe and counterfeit goods. In this case, there was a risk to children

Anna Karetnikova, who operated as an Ebay and Amazon business seller, traded for three years and amassed thousands of pounds in profit by buying fake goods from China. She was convicted this month following a prosecution by Sutton Council Trading Standards.

A search of Karetnikova’s home by Trading Standards in June 2017 revealed an attic full of counterfeit stock, including 1,200 children’s costumes and more than 100 electrical chargers.

One fancy dress costume was discovered to contain a sharp piece of wire protruding through the fabric that risked severe eye injury. The plastic packaging on many costumes was unsafe and presented a risk of asphyxiation.

In handing Karetnikova a six-month prison sentence in a trial at Croydon Crown Court, Judge D Charles said the case “undoubtedly crosses the custody threshold”. The judge suspended the prison sentence for 18 months after giving Karetnikova credit for her guilty plea, previous  good character and the low risk of reconviction.

Judge D Charles  said: “You are an educated woman. To my mind you should have appreciated the dangers of what you were doing. You have a callous disregard for the children who would end up wearing the costumes.

“Any right-minded member of the public would find it shocking that a mother of young children could be selling costumes to other parents that could seriously injure their children.”

Karetnikova pleaded guilty to offences contrary to the Toy Safety Regulations 2011. She also pleaded guilty to having in possession a Samsung adapter which was prohibited by Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016.

Karetnikova was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community.

The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of all the items seized by Trading Standards.

A spokesman for Sutton Trading Standards said: “This shocking case demonstrates how seriously the courts take the sale of unsafe and counterfeit goods, especially when – as there so often is – there is a risk to the public. In this case, there was a risk to children.

“This prosecution has resulted in the perpetrator being handed a suspended prison sentence. That will inevitably have life-changing consequences for the individual.

“We hope this serves as a lesson to anyone either engaged in dealing in counterfeit trade or considering it.”

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