Company director who sold fake Apple and Samsung phone batteries to get a mortgage is sentenced
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A company director of a tech repair shop based in West Yorkshire, who imported counterfeit Apple and Samsung batteries, sold them worldwide and used his criminal earnings to get a mortgage, has been sentenced.
Irfan Patel, 40, of St Annes Close, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to 28 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, for using unauthorised trademarks between 2013 and 2020. Patel was also sentenced to 250 hours community service and 3 months curfew on tag, after pleading guilty on Friday 6 August 2021.
Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt, who led the investigation, said:
“Selling counterfeit goods is illegal and, in the case of counterfeit batteries and electricals, is extremely dangerous. This sentencing should send a strong message to other criminals involved in counterfeit goods: it will not be tolerated and they will be brought to justice.
“For the public, it is vital to remember when buying counterfeit goods, they aren’t just damaging legitimate businesses, it also helps to fund other serious organised crime.”
The investigation began with a referral from Apple to the City of London Police. The initial investigation revealed that Patel predominantly repaired mobile telephones and computers, however, significant profits were made from the sale of counterfeit Apple and Samsung phone batteries. Financial investigations revealed Patel made £26,231.04 a year from selling batteries worldwide.
Officers from the City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) arrested Patel at his business premises on 27 May 2020 and seized hundreds of counterfeit batteries ready to be distributed.
Before executing the warrant for the property, officers made three test purchases and on each occasion were directed to make payments into Patel’s personal bank account.
Patel admitted in his police interview to selling counterfeit goods, which he knew was illegal. Patel’s phones and laptops were also seized and his home address was searched. Patel also exposed the industry to a loss of £790k.