Lancashire

Counterfeiter Lester Hawkes jailed for selling fake CDs

A man has been jailed for three years after making almost half a million pounds selling fake DVDs, CDs and MP3s.

Lester Hawkes, of Drummersdale Lane, Scarisbrick, Lancashire was involved in a website called Flying Warlocks, where counterfeit goods were sold.

Liverpool Crown Court heard 22,200 separate transactions were made between 2004 and 2011, making £460,000.

The 58-year-old admitted to the supply and sale of copyright and patented articles and money laundering.

He was also given a concurrent sentence of ten months for benefit fraud.

His wife Pauline Hawkes, 53, received a 21-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of money laundering and five counts of benefit fraud.

'Comfortable lifestyle'

An investigation established that the websites were offering its members access to a marketplace for a £10 monthly fee.

Pirated copies of tens of thousands of music tracks, films, games, audio books and software packages were sold.

Lancashire Police said the couple also claimed over £74,000 in housing and council tax benefit and income support.

Lester Hawkes has been ordered to pay back over £3,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Det Supt Jason Hudson, from the North West Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: "This couple were living a really comfortable lifestyle on the back of proceeds from trade in counterfeit products, whilst also committing benefit crime.

"I am pleased to see that justice has been served."

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