Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Autograph Counterfeiter Jailed

A Norfolk man who made more than £35,000 by selling fake autographs of celebrities including Doctor Who stars has been jailed.

Andrew Sullivan, of Heath Road, Lyng, exploited fans by selling pictures on eBay that he claimed had been signed by TV and film celebrities, including cast members of Doctor Who such as David Tennant, Billie Piper and Karen Gillan. He would supply a fake certificate of authenticity with each purchase.

The 51-year-old admitted forging 3,500 autographs between 2009 and 2011. He also pleaded guilty to selling pictures of stars without their permission. Sullivan was exposed after a tip-off to Norfolk County Council's Trading Standards team. Investigators found a container of ripped-up and discarded signed photographs, which were later pieced together to reveal what looked to be mistakes. His office computer was found to be storing many copyrighted images.

The investigation was supported by BBC Worldwide, which holds copyright on the images used. They gave evidence that the images used were owned by the BBC and they had not given permission to reproduce or generate an income from them.

Sullivan was sentenced to 21 months in prison.
Thanks to BBC News