- By Chloe Laversuch
- BBC News
Two brothers who sold thousands of jars of counterfeit cranberry sauce have been sentenced for breaching trademark and food hygiene laws.
Mohammed and Irfan Patel sold more than 6,000 jars packaged to look like organic brand Abel & Cole.
Leeds Crown Court heard the scam was uncovered in 2020 when the firm became aware of sales of the fake product.
Both men were given 12-month community orders and ordered to carry out unpaid work after admitting five offences.
The court heard an investigation by West Yorkshire Trading Standards in November 2020 found several business had purchased the phony sauce, including one which bought more than 1,000 cases for £1,742.
Prosecutor Angus MacDonald said the inquiry eventually led to Dewsbury-based firm Stock Up Direct where Mohammed Patel, who was the sole director and employee, confirmed he had supplied the jars.
However, he initially claimed he had bought the product from another supplier and supplied a fake invoice produced by his brother, Irfan.
Mr MacDonald said it later emerged it was Irfan Patel who had sourced the knock-off product.
When trading standards officers visited the firm’s premises in Bretton Park they found it was not registered as a food supplier and had no documentation of carrying out food hygiene safety procedures.
Fifty pallets of food found at the unit had to be destroyed at a cost of £8,000, the court heard.
Both men pleaded guilty to two offences under the Trade Marks Act and three offences under the Food Safety Act.
Passing sentence Judge Christopher Batty said selling counterfeit goods “not only directly affects the revenue of the legitimate manufacturer, but it also affects their reputation because it’s not up to the same quality”.
“Fortunately it’s not suggested that any of the items did cause anyone any ill health,” he said.
“When you were discovered, you didn’t admit what you had done, instead you submitted sales invoices in a bid to cover your tracks and probably protect those who supplied you with the counterfeit goods.”
As well as the community order Mohammed Patel, of Thornhill Street, Dewsbury, was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work while Irfan Patel, of Ravensthorpe Road, Dewsbury, was ordered to do 120 hours.