A South Tyneside man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, after admitting selling illegal satellite TV boxes.
Christopher Moore, 44, of Strathmore Gardens in South Shields, pleaded guilty to a charge of facilitating access to copyright, subscription-only content, particularly Premier League football. This is in contravention of the Fraud Act 2006.
He also pleaded guilty to transferring the proceeds of his criminal activity – around £61,000 – to his personal bank and PayPal accounts, which is an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council, the prosecuting authority, said: “This is not a victimless crime. This kind of case damages a wide range of people including Sky and its employees and law-abiding publicans who may well lose trade from those who would normally go to their local pub to watch a match.
“The severity of this case is reflected in the sentence and I hope this acts as a deterrent to other people who hopefully will see that this type of offence is simply not worth the risk.”
The operation – Operation York – was led by the National Trading Standards Regional Investigations Team (North East).
Lord Toby Harris, Chair, National Trading Standards, said:
“Mr Moore deliberately and knowingly broke the law to make financial gains and, as a result, responsible businesses that operate within the law – including local pubs and employees – lost out. We will continue to clamp down on individuals and organisations that harm legitimate businesses.
“If you suspect a local individual or business is operating illegally you should report them via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”
Notes to Editors
About National Trading Standards
National Trading Standards provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally
The National Trading Standards Board is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards.
National Trading Standards teams are based within local authority trading standards services For more information please visit www.nationaltradingstandards.uk