HomeTechnologyFour Receive Prison Sentences Totaling 10+ Years * TorrentFreak

Four Receive Prison Sentences Totaling 10+ Years * TorrentFreak

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Four individuals related to the illegal streaming of copyrighted content have been handed prison sentences in the UK totaling more than 10 years. Three men and a woman were convicted of fraud and money laundering for offenses against broadcasters including Sky and BT Sport. Assets have also been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

IPTVOn September 11, 2018, following an investigation and referral by the Federation Against Copyright Theft, 2 people were arrested in connection with the unauthorized streaming of TV broadcasts.

Officers from Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards unit assisted by native police executed a warrant at an address in Bursledon, Hampshire, close to the city of Southampton. Reports indicated that 2 people – a 41-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman – had been arrested under suspicion of offenses under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and money laundering.

From the outset, it was clear the operation had been carried out against some type of illegal streaming operation to protect the rights of companies including Sky and BT Sports. The investigation formed part of a wider investigation coordinated by Europol. A day later, Europol announced that 4 people had been arrested in Ireland.

FACT and Trading Standards Announce Convictions

Information sent to TorrentFreak by FACT and an announcement from Hampshire County Council Trading Standards now reveals that on 18 March, 2022, 4 individuals were sentenced at Southampton Crown Court after being convicted in connection with the illegal streaming of copyrighted material, including that owned by Sky Sports and BT Sport.

Neither release mentions a specific streaming operation but following a request for clarification, FACT suggested that we should gaze at a well-known online handle.

For perhaps a decade, MIKEY1234 has been involved in the development and distribution of software (including Kodi addons) that facilitated entry to copyrighted content. In several forum posts over the years, MIKEY1234 also admitted to dwelling in the Southampton area.

FACT didn’t immediately reply to additional questions relating to how revenue was generated by MIKEY1234 and his associates but given the harsh sentences handed down last week, it is clear that significant sums were involved.

Defendants Receive Prison Sentences Exceeding 10 Years

According to FACT, the 4 convicted people, their crimes, and their sentences are as follows:

Michael James Simmonds – age 45 of Bridge Road, Bursledon, sentenced under Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 (Participating in business for a Fraudulent Purpose) and Section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Money Laundering): 5 years 6 months imprisonment on each to run concurrently. To serve half sentence in custody with the remainder served on license

Kieran Collins – age 38 of Beccles Road, Great Yarmouth, sentenced under Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 (Participating in business for a Fraudulent Purpose) and Section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Money Laundering): 3 years imprisonment on each to run concurrently. To serve half sentence in custody with the remainder served on license

Amanda Collins – age 37 of Beccles Road, Great Yarmouth, sentenced under Section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Money Laundering): 18 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years, requirement to conduct 200 hours of unpaid work

Robert Kurian – age 46 of Mascalls Way, Chelmsford, sentenced under Section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Money Laundering): 8 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years, requirement to conduct 180 hours of unpaid work

Confiscation Under Proceeds of Crime Act

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, confiscation orders can be issued against people who advantage from criminal conduct to facilitate the restoration of unlawfully obtained property.

For his part in the MIKEY1234-related operation, Keiran Collins was found to have benefited in the sum of £329,239.51 and was ordered to pay back £15,399.59. Amanda Collins was found to have benefited in the sum of £80,000 and has to pay £59,698.07. Robert Kurian was found to have benefited in the sum of £21,039.06 and is required to pay a nominal amount of £1.

Confiscation proceedings against Michael Simmons, who received the harshest sentence, have been instituted but no monetary value has been made public.

Kieron Sharp, Chief Executive of FACT, welcomes the convictions and thanks those involved in the operation for their work.

“I would like to thank Hampshire County Council Trading Standards for taking on this case following an initial investigation by FACT, assisted by National Trading Standards,” Sharp says.

“The individuals sentenced were involved in operating a criminal enterprise that generated substantial earnings with no regard for the rights of content owners. FACT continues to pursue those operating illegal streaming services who risk criminal convictions and forfeiture of assets.”

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