British rugby star jailed for EBay fraud

British rugby star Gareth Raynor has pled guilty on charges of fraud and counterfeiting, and has been sentenced to a total of 15 months in jail by Judge Roger Thorne QC of the Hull Crown Court.

The jail term, which began this month, will probably end Raynor’s career in rugby, but Judge Thorne said that he really had no choice.  Raynor was also under suspended sentence for a July 2008 assault on a doorman, and was told in no uncertain terms that any further misbehaviour would mean a jail sentence.

The scam that led to Raynor’s sentencing apparently began long before the arrest for assault in 2008.  It involved the importing of second-hand reconditioned ink cartridges from China to Raynor’s home in Brough, near Hull.

The used cartridges were then re-packaged to look like new products from companies such as HP and Canon.  Under the name ‘Genuine Ink’, Raynor was selling these fake cartridges on the Internet auction site eBay to the tune of about £36,500 in illegal profits.

In August of 2008, trading standards officers with East Riding Yorkshire Council raided the Brough residence and found a large quantity of the fake cartridges in the house and garage.  Investigators also found that Raynor had been counterfeiting computer games such as Nintendo and Gameboy.

Raynor’s attorney told the Court that his client was deeply remorseful, and both former coach Brian Noble and the former chaplain of Hull FC offered character references.  The judge was not swayed, and handed down the sentence for both assault and fraud.