The latest counterfeit conviction to have taken place after a trading standards alert from costume company Rubie’s has resulted in a suspended prison sentence for the illegal trader.
Anna Karetnikova, who operated as an eBay and Amazon business seller, was convicted following a prosecution by Sutton Council Trading Standards in the United Kingdom.
Anna had traded for three years under the name Osborneshop2015 and had amassed thousands of pounds in profit by buying fake superhero suits from China.
A raid in June 2017 – which followed a complaint to Trading Standards by Rubie’s UK – revealed an attic full of counterfeit stock, including 1,200 children’s costumes.
One fancy dress costume contained a sharp piece of wire protruding through the fabric that risked severe eye injury. The plastic packaging on many costumes was unsafe and presented a risk of asphyxiation.
The judge described her ‘callous disregard’ for children’s safety, saying that; “You are an educated woman. To my mind you should have appreciated the dangers of what you were doing. You have a callous disregard for the children who would end up wearing the costumes.”
“Any right minded member of the public would find it shocking that a mother of young children could be selling costumes to other parents that could seriously injure their children.”
Following a guilty plea, the residing judge issued a suspended six-month prison sentence and 100 hours of community service.
“Firstly, we would like to thank Sutton Trading Standards for their fantastic efforts in bringing this case to court,” commented Mike O’Connell, Rubie’s global head of anti-piracy “It shockingly highlights the dangers surrounding counterfeit costumes. Rubie’s antipiracy team continue to work tirelessly to defend our industry from such criminal activity.”
A spokesman for Sutton Trading Standards added: “This shocking case demonstrates how seriously the courts take the sale of unsafe and counterfeit goods, especially when – as there so often is – there is a risk to the public. We hope this serves as a lesson to anyone either engaged in dealing in counterfeit trade or considering it.”