On Friday 13th July 2007, Maidenhead businesswoman Lucia Ferrazzano, who pleaded guilty in June in Reading Crown Court to a charge of conspiracy to defraud proprietors of registered trademarks, was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, as well as 200 hours compulsory unpaid work.
Her husband, Steven Pygall, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and must perform compulsory unpaid work (two orders of 40 hours, to run concurrently) as a result of his sales of more than 70 counterfeit “Odyssey” putters.
The case against the couple was brought by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Trading Standards office after a consumer complained to Callaway Golf, which produces the Odyssey brand, that golf clubs he had purchased from the couple in Berkshire via an internet auction site were counterfeit.
Callaway Golf sought the assistance of Trading Standards, which promptly launched an investigation that confirmed the counterfeiting allegation. On 4th May 2006 Trading Standards officers, assisted by local police, raided the couple’s home and seized more than 80 counterfeit golf clubs, counterfeit jewellery and clothing, and business records confirming that most of the counterfeit goods originated in China.
Neil Howie, managing director of Callaway Golf, Europe, praised police and trading standards officers for putting the counterfeit operation out of business.
“The defendants had made more than £30,000 when Trading Standards closed the door on their operation, and were on their way to greater earnings” Howie noted, “all of it obtained by victimizing our company and honest consumers.”
“Counterfeit golf clubs are rampant on internet auction sites,” Howie added, “The best protection for consumers against purveyors of counterfeit clubs is to purchase from Callaway Golf’s preferred retailers, who are listed on the company’s website.”