Counterfeit clothing empire netted nearly £1m
A BIRMINGHAM clothing manufacturer who ran a counterfeit clothing warehouse has been told by a judge – pay up or go to jail.
Pawittar Saul faces three years in prison after he convicted of selling counterfeit goods from his home in the Moseley area of the city.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act a judge at Birmingham Crown Court ruled Saul could escape the prison sentence if he pays back £700,000 – the amount he made from his fraudulent business.
The 56-year-old has six months to pay the money.
Pawittar was also given a one year prison sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty in May last year to 14 offences under the Trade Marks Act.
Birmingham Trading Standards officers raided his house and his business in Moseley Road in March 2006 where they found approximately 250 fake clothes, mainly fleece jackets, labelled as Timberland, Rockport, Lacoste and Adidas. They also found a multi-purpose embroidery machine.
Councillor Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee, said: “People who make and sell counterfeit goods are criminals who are making money off the backs of legitimate traders, which damages livelihoods and the local economy.
“People who buy these goods should also be aware that they will generally be getting shoddy, badly made clothing. My officers will continue their excellent work in investigating counterfeiters, putting them before the courts and, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, really hitting them where it hurts.”