Lisa Lovell, Managing Director of Brand Enforcement UK Ltd, representing Playboy Entertainment International Ltd (PEII) provided an expert witness statement to Trading Standards Officers after an examination confirming that the jewellery was counterfeit.
Lisa said, “this result is great news for brand owners who invest large sums of money in brand protection strategies in an attempt to prevent the theft of their intellectual property rights” after providing her expert witness statement at Ipswich Crown Court. Five people were involved with the selling of counterfeit goods, and were given jail sentences amounting to nearly 20 years.
The goods, which included items of PLAYBOY branded jewellery, had been offered for sale in two shops known as Temptation Accessories, located in The Walk, Ipswich and Eld Lane, Colchester.
Mr PHING WOON PUN, 47, of Penn Close, Capel St Mary, Owner and Director of the Temptation Accessories stores in Ipswich and Colchester, was found guilty of supplying counterfeit goods and was given 12 months as a result of conspiring to sell goods which infringe trademarks and copyright.
Mr Pun, who has a previous conviction for employing illegal workers in Colchester in 2007, who is also the Owner and Director of Temptation Chinese Buffet, Carr Street, Ipswich and Lucky Star Takeaway, Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, was also found guilty of conspiring to facilitate a breach of the UK’s immigration laws, as well as obtaining a £198,000 money transfer by deception and converting criminal property. Including the 12 months relating to the counterfeit goods, he was sentenced to 6 years in total.
Ms AI VEE ONG (known as “Ivy”), 31 of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, who was employed as both Company Secretary and Restaurant Manager, was also given a 12 month custodial sentence as a result of being found guilty of conspiring to sell counterfeit goods, and is likely to be deported to Malaysia following her release. She was sentenced to 4 years in total for also conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law and converting criminal property.
SIOW YIN PUN (known as “Cindy”) 27, of Silk Street, Ipswich, who is the daughter of Mr Pun, was also found guilty of conspiring to sell counterfeit goods, conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law and converting criminal property. She was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and is also likely to be deported to Malaysia following her release due to having no UK citizen status.
Mr Pun’s son, YUN FAT PUN, 28 of Silk Street, Ipswich was convicted of conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law, fraud and converting criminal property. He was sentenced to 4 years in total.
Mr Pun’s wife, KIM WONG, 46, was sentenced to 2.5 years in total after being found guilty of conspiring to facilitate a breach of the UK’s immigration laws and converting criminal property.
In addition to the jail terms the Judge disqualified all the defendants apart from Kim Tai Wong from being company directors for ten years.
When passing sentence, Judge Peter Thompson said, “You were all prepared to ignore the law and take any opportunity you could to make money.” He continued; “You could have used your undoubted skills and hard work to generate lawful profits but instead chose to participate in a series of criminal acts. “I don’t accept for a moment that you believed you weren’t doing anything wrong. Not one of you can say you only committed a minor breach of the law.”
For all defendants the Judge criticised all of the defendants for failing to give evidence during the trial or answering questions during interview. He said “the offences span a 2 year period and although there are various offences there is a theme of dishonesty throughout”.
In regard to the counterfeit goods he specifically said “the trade mark holders spend large amounts of money to protect their trade marks, you exploited others to make dishonest profits by importing cheap copies”.