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Sennheiser welcomes sentencing of counterfeit goods trader

The case against Michael Reeder – sentenced to two and a half years in prison for selling £250,000 worth of counterfeit products – is one of the largest undertaken by trading standards services in the UK.

Sennheiser has issued a statement that it “welcomes” the sentence handed down to prolific UK counterfeit goods trader Michael Reeder on 19 April.

Reeder will spend two and a half years in prison – one of the heaviest sentences ever given to someone convicted of selling counterfeit products in the UK. He was found guilty of all 13 charges that were brought against him, including selling counterfeit goods to a school in Bristol. His case is one of the largest of its type undertaken by trading standards services anywhere in the UK.

Authorities seized over 4,000 counterfeit items – including Sennheiser, Apple and Monster – worth a total of £250,000 at Reeder’s property by Portsmouth Trading Standards. This is believed to be just a small fraction of the total items in his possession at that time.

Peter May, sales and marketing director at Sennheiser UK, said: “Counterfeiting is something we take extremely seriously because it hurts unwitting and innocent consumers. We’ve worked closely with Portsmouth Trading Standards for some time on this case because we knew just how significant a counterfeit trader Mr Reeder was – at one point we estimated that almost 80% of all the complaints we received were due to the fake products he was selling illegally under our brand name.

“We’re passionate about delivering fantastic products to consumers which is why we introduced an authorised dealer network earlier this month to combat this counterfeiting issue, supporting the genuine sellers of our headphones and giving even greater confidence to consumers when they make their purchase.”

In addition to the authorized dealer network, Sennheiser has also introduced a series of identification technologies on its packaging and products to protect customers against fakes. Each product comes with a unique security label as well as a QR code on the packaging, which consumers can scan to confirm their product’s authenticity online.

Speaking with the BBC, Sennheiser’s Volker Bartels, president, corporate services and spokesperson of the Executive Management Board concluded: “(Counterfeit product) damages the trust in our brand, it damages the trust in our company because what people expect when they buy Sennheiser products is quality, great customer service… and what they get is crap. This is a clear motivator for us to go after this, and to support everybody who’s joining the fight (against) counterfeit products.”