£50k bill for Halesowen fraud couple
A couple who used their family home as a shop to sell counterfeit goods will have to sell the property to pay a £50,000 court bill.
Wayne Hinton and Samantha Blizzard filled their three-bedroom house, in Astley Court, Halesowen, with £75,000 worth of fake designer items.
The pair, who have three children, then sold them in a makeshift display room.
At an earlier hearing both Hinton, 41, and Blizzard, 35, were each given a 16-month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work. They were back before Wolverhampton Crown Court court yesterday for a Proceeds of Crime hearing. Judge Martin Walsh was told Blizzard had gained £57,756 by selling the fake goods while Hinton had benefited by £50,306.
The court was told the only asset the couple had was their home – which was solely in Blizzard's name. A confiscation order for £50,000 was made against Blizzard which will have to be paid within six months. Hinton disclaimed an interest in the house and was ordered to pay £1 by the court. If the cash is not raised within the time allotted both will be jailed for 18 months – although they can apply for more time.
Judge Walsh said: "If for some good reason the property has not been sold a further application must be made to the court for more time to come up with the money."
The pair were caught by trading standards officers after returning from a re-stocking shopping trip.
They each pleaded guilty to 15 counts of possession of goods with false trademarks for sale or hire and 15 counts of offering and exposing for sale goods bearing a false trademark.
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