York shop sold pirated goods for six years – now the owner must pay £90K or go to jail

Miss Diva on Low Petergate, York. Photograph: YorkMix
6 Sep 2017 @ 9.42 pm
| News

A York retailer who sold pirated goods for six years has been hit with a bill for more than £90,000.

Frank Kerr, 70 of Milan House, Eboracum Way, off Heworth Green, York, was originally prosecuted in 2015.

City of York Council trading standards had found racks of counterfeit clothes and other pirated luxury goods at his shop, Miss Diva, on Low Petergate.

Many of the “designer” items he sold – including international brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton – were fake.

Considered the matter ‘trivial’

At the time, Kerr told officers that he was providing a service for people who couldn’t afford the genuine article and that he felt the matter was quite trivial.

He had already been cautioned by Trading Standards officers for similar offences in 2012.

Mr Kerr pleaded guilty to 11 offences involving counterfeit goods, and 11 more as the sole director of Miss Diva Too Ltd.

He also asked for 348 other offences to be taken into consideration. He was given a suspended four-month prison sentence.

The sign on Low Petergate

At the time of that trial in 2015, the Recorder of York Judge Stephen Ashurst predicted that the “sting in the tail” of the case would come following the financial investigation into the proceeds of these crimes, when Trading Standards would ask the court to confiscate his assets.

And today (September 6) Kerr been ordered by York Crown Court to pay more £75,000 profit from the sale of counterfeit goods from his shop over the past six years.

Could be jailed

‘Excellent outcome’ – council leader

He has been given three months to pay the £75,059.98 benefit from his crimes or face a two year prison sentence after which the debt will still be hanging over him.

He has also been ordered to pay £15,000 to City of York Council towards their investigation costs, within nine months.

Council leader David Carr said:

Trading Standards have a double duty of safeguarding consumers against buying fake items and also ensuring law-abiding traders have a fair basis from which to trade.

This excellent outcome is a result of a dedicated team of investigators working hard to see justice being done and criminals making appropriate amends.

Their work and this outcome goes towards establishing proper trading standards and public trust in traders.