Married Couple  jailed for selling kodi illegal streaming devices letting viewers watch Premier League games for free

The couple were found guilty of selling 8,000 illegal streaming devices loaded with illegal Kodi add-ons

Married Couple  jailed for selling kodi illegal streaming devices letting viewers watch Premier League games for free

A married couple has been found guilty of selling illegal streaming devices to allow customers to watch Premier League football matches for free.

John Haggerty was sentenced to five years and three months by Newcastle Crown Court while his wife, Mary Gilfillan was given a two-year suspended sentence.

 

Haggerty  ran a business called Evolution Trading – has been locked up for five years and three months for conspiracy to defraud, while wife, Mary Gilfillan, was given a suspended prison sentence.

Haggerty plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly obtaining services for another and was sentenced under the Fraud Act. The company run by the pair, Evolution Trading, had sold over 8,000 illegal set-top boxes that were loaded with add-ons for the popular open-source platform Kodi.

 

This allowed individuals and publicans to stream Premier League football games for free. Their illegal sales allowed the couple to make over £750,000 between March 2013 and July 2015.

Premier League Director of Legal Services, Kevin Plumb, said:  The Premier League is currently engaged in one of the biggest and most successful anti-piracy programmes in the World and its own investigations, along with those by Northumberland Trading Standards and FACT, have helped bring these criminals to justice.

“The ability that Premier League clubs have to develop and acquire talented players, to build and improve stadiums and to support communities and schools, is predicated on being able to market, sell and protect commercial rights.

“This makes the protection of our copyright hugely important to the future health of English football and beyond, something we are pleased the Courts continue to recognise with judgments like this one.”

This is the third case since December 2016 where the sale of illegal streaming services providing access to Premiership games has led to a custodial sentence.

Judge Simon Batiste told the couple:

“You opened a shop, and set up a subscription services undermining and undercutting those provided by legitimate providers.

Now Haggerty – who ran it through a business called Evolution Trading – has been locked up for five years and three months for conspiracy to defraud, while wife, Mary Gilfillan, was given a suspended prison sentence for her lesser role in the con.

Sentencing them, Judge Simon Batiste: “This was a very sophisticated fraud perpetrated primarily by you, John Haggerty.

“It was a fraud committed against a number of broadcasters throughout the world, also sellers of rights such as the Premier League and the film industry.

“You involved a large number of people including people from different continents providing services to you.

“You sold 8,000 set top boxes and started services including streaming services, you created an application to enable other devices to access the stream you created.

“In particular devices permitted users to view all Premier League matches and films, some of which hadn’t even been released in the cinema.

 

“The conspiracy started in March 2013. The position was when you first started selling boxes you didn’t believe that to be illegal, but very quickly you realised the illegality of what you were doing.

“You generated receipts totalling £764,000 from the sale of set top boxes.

“You opened a shop, and set up a subscription services undermining and undercutting those provided by legitimate providers.

“Part of the fraud involved overturning and stopping security measures to stop such fraud taking place, including using computer hackers.

“An investigation by the Federation Against Copyright Theft led to searches being carried out, including at Ridley Place, your home address, and incriminating items were found.

“I’m told that the business was winding down, and I’m prepared to accept that.

“The prosecution argues that losses were incurred by the Premier League and filmmakers that ran into the millions.

“In my judgement it’s clear the losses would clearly run into excess of a million pounds.

“You took a leading role in the conspiracy and you involved others, including your wife and brother-in-law.

“You did commit a serious fraud offence in America. On October 12 2010 you pleaded guilty to 10 counts of bank fraud before a court in Houston. You were sentenced to 41 months in prison and were released in May 2012.”

Turning to his wife, the judge added: “Mary Gilfillan, I was very, very close to locking you up immediately with your husband.

“I’m satisfied you are a deeply loyal wife, perhaps loyal to a fault.

“You’ve never been in trouble before and you would never have become involved save for the impact of your husband.

“It’s that which is the most powerful thing that saves you.”

David Groome, prosecuting, said the fraud ran from March 2013 to July 2015.

“The conspiracy was coordinated by Mr Haggerty, assisted by his wife Mrs Gilfillan”

He told the court: “This concerns a highly sophisticated fraud committed against numerous broadcasters throughout the world and those who have an interest in the content, including the FA Premier League and the film industry.

“The conspiracy was coordinated by Mr Haggerty, assisted by his wife Mrs Gilfillan. She played a subordinate role but was a willing participant in the fraud.

“Some 8,000 IPTV set top devices were provided…which enabled pay TV to be viewed without any payment to the relevant broadcasters and content owners.”

The court heard customers would pay £15 a month for the service, undercutting the fees charged by legitimate broadcasters.

The devices would be sold for £75 to £100 to members of the public and £400 to pubs.

Evolution also created and sold access to its own illegal streaming service – infusum.tv – to thousands of customers.

Customers were also given access to thousands of films, some of which had not even been released in cinemas yet.

Referring to the gross receipts figure of £764,000, Mr Groome said:

“The prosecution say it caused losses to the broadcasters, content owners and film owners of many multiples of that sum.”

The couple, set up a business which sold the products on eBay, Amazon and from a shop on Regent Street, in Blyth.

Mr Groome said foreign broadcasts of Premier League football were made available, including during the

“closed period” of a Saturday afternoon when such broadcasts are not allowed.

Simon Gurney, representing 57-year-old Haggerty, said: “Initially in the sale of the top boxes, he believed what he was doing was legal.

“He was in dire financial circumstances following his return from America and he was seeking to begin a business which would provide some money for his family.”

Austin Welch, for Gilfillan, 54, who was sentenced to two years suspended for two years with 200 hours of unpaid work, said: “She is a wife and mother who has led a law-abiding life.

“She didn’t play a significant role, she was acting under the direction of her husband and had very limited technical knowledge.”

After the case, Premier League director of legal services, Kevin Plumb, said:

“This case demonstrates how seriously the courts are dealing with criminals involved in the supply of illicit streaming devices and services that provide illegal access to Premier League football and other popular content.”

“This case demonstrates how seriously the courts are dealing with criminals involved in the supply of illicit streaming devices.” Kevin Plumb, Premier League

After the case, Premier League director of legal services, Kevin Plumb, said:

‘This case demonstrates how seriously the courts are dealing with criminals involved in the supply of illicit streaming devices and services that provide illegal access to Premier League football and other popular content.'

 

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3 Comments

  1. This is very very very OLD NEWS!!?
    So why republish it?
    Simply to please sky and BT sports who no doubt advertise with this website.

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