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.
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."