On May 24, 2012, two Polish brothers were arrested in Portadown, Ireland after local authorities were tipped off about a counterfeit operation solely based on Calvin Klein underwear.
Just this week, the two were given suspended sentences of 10 months in prison suspended for two years concurrently on both counts for running an online counterfeit Calvin Klein underwear scam, where they were selling fake pairs of the underwear at £4-£7 a piece and in five packs for £40.
During the search and seizure last May, police found 1,212 pairs of the undies and they also took one of the brothers computers where they found accounts for PayPal and Ebay set up, marking this as a sophisticated scamming scheme. However, one of the brothers claims he was under the assumption that the pairs of underwear they bought for £2 a pair were legitimate and that they received a certificate of authentication from the suppliers, but he was unable to give the certificate to the police.
The brothers admitted that they procured most of the underwear from the website Alibaba.com and that they thought they could help their families wellbeing by starting a “legitimate” trading company of buying and selling goods. There was no proof the brothers were really benefiting from the sales, “with no trappings of wealth and no evidence of extravagant lifestyles.” Over the course of 13 months, they were able to sell 1,007 pairs of underwear for an average price of £5.53, and Calvin Klein claimed they lost up to £50,000, which the judge ruled out. The overall potential profit the brothers actually made was £8,000.
Let us know if you think the brothers were charged appropriately or not by commenting below or tweeting @underwearexpert.
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