A COUPLE who made more than £50,000 from counterfeit vehicle badges have been spared an immediate jail sentence.

Paul Kelly and Lynsey Carter had been importing counterfeit badges from China – including BMW, Ford, Porsche and Jaguar – and selling them online via websites such as eBay and Amazon.

Kelly and Carter were also selling the badges out of a property in Rudheath.

Cheshire West and Chester Trading Standards brought the case against the pair after being contacted by BMW’s brand protection company.

A total of 2166 counterfeit vehicle badges for wheel hub centres and bonnets, with a total value of £6,821.72 were seized during the investigations from a property in Lavender Drive.

It is estimated that over an 18 month period the pair sold counterfeit goods totalling £51,496.12.

Both pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading, contrary to section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 and were sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday, 22 November 2017.

Kelly, 43, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two year and issued with a community order for 180 hours unpaid work.

Carter, 44, received a community order for 180 hours unpaid work.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, they both received confiscations orders, a total of £24,207.56 for Carter and a total of £36,311.35 for Kelly, both to be paid within three months.

Cllr Karen Shore, CWAC’s cabinet member for environment said: “Our Trading Standards officers protect residents across Cheshire West by investigating the sale of these inferior and often unsafe counterfeit products. T

“This is the end result of a very complex investigation. This joint operation also involved the North West Regional Investigations Team and Cheshire Police.

“Counterfeiting is an illegal activity which affects the livelihoods of legitimate, hardworking businesses.

“We will take action against anyone found selling counterfeit products in Cheshire West and Chester.”