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Mum told she'll go to prison if she doesn’t return £140,000 she made on eBay

Mum told she'll go to prison if she doesn’t return £140,000 she made on eBay

A mum of two has been told she'll go to prison if she doesn't return the £140,000 she made from selling fake band merchandise

A mum has been told she will go to prison if she doesn't return £140,000 she made selling fake music T-shirts.

Johanna Donnelly, 48, made an absolute fortune selling unlicensed merchandise of many rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, Stone Roses, The Stranglers and Foo Fighters.

The unofficial clothing was sold on Donnelly's website and eBay, making a whopping quarter of a million pounds in the process.

Between June 2017 and July 2018, trading standards experts in Newport, Wales, bought some of the items of clothing as a test.

The mum sold fake merchandise from a variety of different rock bands including Led Zeppelin.
Philippe Gras / Alamy Stock Photo

After the T-shirts were received in the post, the local council sent them off to a brand consultant of the relevant bands.

They concluded that there was no consent from the trademark owners to sell the T-shirts, so they were therefore not genuine.

Sales figures for the infringed copyright amounted to £11,617.26, while another account amassed £1,283.38.

When questioned, Donnelly said 'no comment' to all that came her way, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

But she pleaded guilty to 20 offences of selling and infringing trademark articles and another count of fraudulent trading.

Donnelly was sentenced to a 12-month suspended six-month prison sentence, while also having to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work and a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Donnelly's barrister Harry Baker said: "She has not been living an extravagant lifestyle. She has two children. She has been in work.

"She is not workshy but is now on benefits and after this offence she will obviously find work more difficult to come by because of the loss of her good character.

"In a pre-sentence report there is a very positive assessment of her with a low risk of re-offending."

Meanwhile, Recorder David Elias QC said: "You were involved in this activity for a significant period of time – just under two years.

"That, coupled with the number of offences, is an aggravating factor the court must take into account.

Donnelly pleaded guilty to selling and infringing trademark articles amongst other charges.
Dimitris K. / Alamy Stock Photo

"The court accepts that during that time there were various websites and various businesses that were running in some ways legitimately but you have accepted there was ongoing throughout that period the sale of T-shirts of various pop groups that went on throughout that time.

"The court accepts you may not necessarily have been the prime mover and there is no evidence you achieved a lavish lifestyle."

At the same court on Friday (6 January), Donnelly was found to have made £250,000 from her crimes, and the available assets that were recoverable amounted to £141,655.

Judge David Wynn Morgan ordered Donnelly to pay the large sum within three months or she will serve five months imprisonment.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: News, Money