Nightclub owner fined over fake vodka
6th December, 2013 by Andy Young
A nightclub owner in Essex has been caught selling industrial alcohol that is often used in antifreeze and cleaning products.
Club owner Geoffrey Livesey, 59, admitted three counts of breaching food, spirit and consumer protection regulations at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court. He was sentenced to 250 hours unpaid work in the community and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60.
The company behind the club, Mohito Limited, was fined more than £16,000 as a result of the find. The company pleaded guilty to four of six charges and was fined £10,000. An application for costs of more than £6,000 was granted by the court, as was an application for forfeiture and destruction of the seized goods.
Trading standards officer raided the Candy Club in Chelmsford and seized hundreds of bottles of what was labelled as Smirnoff vodka. But after examining the vodka officers discovered that it was fake and an investigation by Essex County Council found the vodka had been purchased from a van calling at the back door of the club.
Although there was no evidence that anybody had fallen ill as a result, the council said the public had potentially been at risk.
Roger Walters, cabinet member for trading standards, said: “This is a very successful outcome for trading standards and for Chelmsford residents.
“This man was willing to risk the health of his customers by selling counterfeit vodka.
“Businesses should ensure that they purchase goods from traceable and reputable wholesalers.”
The club was raided following a tip-off from the public and council officers found 96 full, six partly-drunk and 134 empty bottles.