A conman who sold pirated versions of Disney’s Little Mermaid and Mrs Brown’s Boys imported from China on websites such as eBay and Play has been ordered to repay almost £500,000.
Trevor Pegg was jailed for three years in January after being convicted on 13 counts – including importing and supplying counterfeit DVDs, running a fraudulent business and money laundering – the previous month.
It followed a prosecution brought by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards* against 61-year-old Pegg of Courtlands Drive, Epsom, who also peddled fake copies of crime series The Killing and Borgen.
On Thursday (15 April), Pegg returned to Guildford Crown Court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing to reclaim cash from his available assets, which include two mortgage-free homes.
After the court heard that Pegg had benefitted to the tune of £593,000 from his criminal activity, His Honour Judge Robert Fraser issued a confiscation order demanding he pays back £495,000 within six months or face an extra three-and-a-half years in prison.
Of that sum, Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards is set to receive £185,000, which will be reinvested in protecting consumers. The rest will go to the Home Office.
Steve Ruddy, Head of Service for Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards, said: “Pegg thought he could hide behind his computer selling knock-off copies of children’s shows, poor quality versions of comedies and pirated police dramas – now he’s going to pay for those crimes.
“He made hundreds of thousands of pounds illegally – damaging reputable businesses and avoiding paying tax in the process – and I’m pleased that Pegg has been severely punished for lining his pockets at the expense of unsuspecting shoppers and firms that are working hard to provide customers with a good service.”
Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Community Services Helyn Clack said: “Unfortunately, counterfeit goods are still available on the internet and this case highlights how scammers try to dupe unsuspecting internet shoppers out of their hard-earned cash.”
To report possible counterfeit purchases, call 03454 04 05 06.
* Buckinghamshire and Surrey operate a joint trading standards service.