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Yarmouth shopkeeper's fraud charge

PUBLISHED: 12:56 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:56 03 July 2010

The owner of a Yarmouth shop that claimed to sell cheap ex-catalogue stock appeared in court yesterday charged with a series of offences.

Eliot Gavan, who ran Catalogue Clearance Agents in Regent Road last summer, is alleged to have enticed customers with knockdown prices but sold them shoddy and near- worthless goods instead.

The owner of a Yarmouth shop that claimed to sell cheap ex-catalogue stock appeared in court yesterday charged with a series of offences.

Eliot Gavan, who ran Catalogue Clearance Agents in Regent Road last summer, is alleged to have enticed customers with knockdown prices but sold them shoddy and near- worthless goods instead.

He was also charged with acting aggressively towards customers to try to make them buy items.

Gavan, 33, from Kent, appeared at Yarmouth Magistrates' Court after a police and trading standards raid on his business premises, based in the main tourist shopping thoroughfare in the resort.

The raid last August followed a series of alleged complaints from people who had claimed they paid inflated prices for near-worthless goods.

Some of the alleged items of poor value included mobile phones, portable DVD players and satellite navigation systems.

Gavan was charged by magistrates under the Fraud Act 2006 with two counts of participating in a fraudulent business and three fraud offences of offering goods for sale at highly competitive prices to make a financial gain. It is alleged that goods were put up for sale at a bargain price but were never made available to customers, who were then sold other items instead.

Each of the five fraud charges has a maximum penalty of a year's imprisonment.

He is also charged with three offences of using goods with fake logos, such Canon, Pioneer, Hitachi, Sony and Motorola, for advertising.

The prosecution, being pursued by Norfolk County Council's trading standards team, also alleges that Gavan engaged in a commercial practice in an aggressive manner by employing door staff and having a chain over the shop entrance to keep customers in.

He was also charged with two counts of engaging in a commercial practice in a misleading manner and failing to provide names and addresses on any business receipts.

Catalogue Clearance Agents, based in the former Taj Mahal premises, was closed after the raid on

August 26.

Magistrates yesterday granted Gavan unconditional bail until March 16 so legal papers could be prepared for the next hearing.

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