The owner of an online retailer offering counterfeit AirPods for sale has been handed a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Adam Owen, of Oaktree Meadows, Horncastle, was sentenced at Luton Crown Court and received 180 hours of community service, in relation to two offences.

Following a trading standards investigation by Hertfordshire County Council, it was found that Owen's company, ARO Commerce Ltd, which traded as, had both sold, and been in possession of approximately 10,000 units of counterfeit Apple AirPods.

Acting on a complaint from a member of the public, around 2,500 pairs of AirPods were seized from a shipping warehouse in Hemel Hempstead in April 2022. 

These were examined and found to be counterfeit, but had the products been genuine, the retail value would have far exceeded a million pounds.

HCC's trading standards team moved swiftly during the investigation to ensure that Owen could not continue to benefit from selling the goods, but also to stop any potential disbursement of funds already obtained.

"These fake pods were marketed to unsuspecting customers as if they were genuine AirPods and close to the retail price for genuine items, but were in fact low quality counterfeit products imported from China," said Councillor Morris Bright, executive member for public health and community safety.

"By offering counterfeit goods for sale Mr Owen sought to dupe unsuspecting consumers with his dodgy wares.

"My advice to residents when shopping online is to do research before parting with your money – online reviews may alert you to issues with a seller and consider paying by credit card for the additional protection doing so affords.

"Those additional few minutes of research when shopping online can often be the difference between being scammed or not.

"If you think you have been sold counterfeit goods, or haven’t received goods you have paid for, get in touch with trading standards so that we can fully investigate and bring these people to justice."

Efforts will now be made to initiate confiscation proceedings against Owen, with the next hearing at St Albans Crown Court on May 17.

If you were a customer of ARO Commerce Ltd, trading as, and purchased a pair of branded AirPods or AirPod Pros between May 3, 2021 and April 5, 2022, contact by May 10, 2024, and include your full name, contact details, order confirmation, order date and order number within the email.