Monday, 24 August 2009

Proceeds of Crime Seized from Porth Man

A Porth man who sold illegal and counterfeit DVDs, music and pornographic to his work colleagues has not only been prosecuted, but has now been forced to repay the proceeds of his crime.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Trading Standards officers launched a successful prosecution against Clayton Wilce earlier this year, which saw him narrowly escape prison for a series of offences relating to music, DVDs and porn he had copied and sold to those he worked with.

After securing convictions against Wilce, of Gethin Terrace, for offences under the Trade Mark and Video Recordings Act at Merthyr Crown Court in March this year, Trading Standards officers launched a further offensive under the Proceeds of Crime Act

This hearing, also at Merthyr Crown Court, occurred earlier this month and led to the court hearing evidence from defence and prosecution lawyers and an accredited financial investigator.

The court heard this month how Wilce had been trading in illegal discs since March 2004 up until his arrest – following searches of his home and vehicle – in October 2007.

The recorder did not accept Wilce’s assertions that he only sold a few of the discs and gave away a large amount of those he had produced. He also claimed he only made £3000 from his three-year enterprise, which was disputed by the court.

The recorder ruled that the sum by which Wilce benefited from his criminal activity was £25,470 and ordered him to pay back £5000 within six months, or face a three-month prison sentence.

Following this month’s hearing, an outstanding sum of £20, 470 remains, which can be recovered at a later date.

David Jones, Head of Community Protection at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “This is an important case as it shows the law is on our side asthat counterfeiting crime definitely does not pay. we work to protect the public and also the law-abiding businesses whose trade is affected by such activity.

“Not only has this offender had his DVDs, CDs and computer equipment seized as a result of his activity, he is also on a suspended prison sentence and supervision order and was ordered to complete community work following his conviction.

“This latest court order now forces him to pay back the money he has made from selling counterfeit films and music and pornography that was not classified.”

Protecting the public and law abiding businesses from counterfeiting crime remains a priority for us.


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