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Woman who made £250,000 selling bootleg Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters T-shirts ordered to pay back £140,000 or face jail

Johanna Donnelly admitted 20 offences of selling and infringing trademark articles



A Norwich woman who pleaded guilty to selling bootleg band T-shirts has been ordered to pay back £140,000 or face five months in jail. 

Johanna Donnelly, 48, admitted 20 offences of selling and infringing trademark articles and another count of fraudulent trading after an investigation by Newport council.

According to WalesOnline, between June 19, 2017, and July 2, 2018, the council carried out test purchases across various sales platforms, and after the T-shirts were received the council sent them off to a brand consultant to the relevant bands. It was concluded that the shirts – which were labelled as official merch for Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, The Stone Roses, The Stranglers and more – were not genuine and there was no consent from the trademark owners to sell the items, which were deemed to be of poor quality.

Donnelly, of Parr Road, Norwich, was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court to a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, with 150 hours unpaid work and a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, Donnelly was found to have made £250,000 from her illegal sales: the available assets which were recoverable amounted to £141,655. Judge David Wynn Morgan ordered Donnelly to pay the sum within three months, or face five months in prison.