Two Lancashire men who sold illegal Virgin Media set-top boxes have been told they must pay up £200,000 each, or spend longer in jail.
Imran Khansia, 30, and Rafiq Dudhwala, 27, from the northwest England town of Blackburn, were part of a four-man gang given jail sentences that totalled just under 14 years. The boxes allowed customers to view channels without paying a monthly fee.
John White, head of group security at Virgin Media, said: “Purchasing unlawful equipment such as this only serves to fund organised crime and we will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals and groups connected with this type of fraud.”
In July, three Essex men – Munaf Ahmed Zinga, Mukandun Pillai and Salim Patel – were sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison for a similar crime.
Federal Court enters default against Dark Angel end-user Michael Blair, awards $10,000 in statutory penalties and issues a permanent injunction
Federal Court enters default against Dark Angel end-user, awards $10,000 in statutory penalties and issues a permanent injunction
On September 2, 2011 the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (Austin Division), granted DISH Network and NagraStar’s motion for default against Michael Blair. Blair was sued by DISH Network and NagraStar in March 2011 for federal claims arising out of his subscription to the Dark Angel services. The Court’s order includes a permanent injunction against Blair as well as an award of $10,000 in statutory damages (the maximum damages per violation) under the Electronics Communication Privacy Act (“ECPA”). DISH Network and NagraStar continue to investigate and take action against those responsible for trying to circumvent the companies’ security system in order to gain unauthorized access to DISH Network programming.
On August 24, 2011 the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin granted final judgment to DISH Network, EchoStar Technologies and NagraStar in their case against Mark Bender and his website www.aaafta.com promoting piracy.
The Court awarded DISH Network $4,013,800.00 in statutory damages under the DMCA as well as entering a permanent injunction against Bender and ordered the aaafta.com website be transferred to NagraStar.
I-link, SatZen, Conaxsat, Topsat, ViewSat, Xfactor and NanoSat piracy satellite receivers are currently being redirected allowing NagraStar to log IP’s of customers units and additional information. As can be seen on the TV pop-up message our law firm Hagan, Noll and Boyle’s telephone number is 1-866-617-9116. They will be happy to speak to customers of these piracy satellite receivers in order to provide them with the best and cheapest option of settling possible litigation as well as directing them in how to become a legitimate DISH network subscriber.
Three men who took part in a massive fraud by selling set-top boxes which allowed people unlawful free access to Virgin Media’s cable television channels have been jailed for a total of 15 years.
The men manufactured, imported and supplied more than 400,000 set-top boxes across the UK during a three-and-a-half year operation, a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court was told.
The scam, described as the largest commercial fraud to have been prosecuted in the UK, is thought to have cost Virgin Media some £144 million a year.
The set-top boxes were sold between January 2005 and November 2008 to suppliers and dealers across the UK and Northern Ireland.
Although it was unlawful to use the boxes, consumers were tricked into spending hundreds of pounds on the devices because they gave access to Virgin Media’s cable television services without subscription.
A Virgin Media spokesman said the company’s counter-measures regularly disabled unofficial boxes while the roll-out of new encryption technology across the cable network meant that all such set-top boxes were now useless.
Virgin Media launched a private prosecution following a large-scale joint operation with the Metropolitan Police at Redbridge, Essex, and New Scotland Yard.
Munaf Ahmed Zinga, 40, from Plaistow, Essex, who traded the Eurovox-branded set-top boxes through his business Rayyonics Ltd, got an eight-year sentence. His assistant, Mukandun Pillai, 39, from Hainault, was jailed for six years. The jury convicted them of conspiracy to defraud.
The third man, Salim Patel, from Plaistow, was jailed for 12 months. He had earlier pleaded guilty to his part in the conspiracy by working as a delivery driver for the company, transporting the set-top boxes to suppliers and collecting cash in return.
Judge Inigo Bing said when he sentenced the men last week: “As the full programme of TV services can be expensive, the defendant’s product had great appeal to those members of the public who had less than exemplary scruples. The potential market for free TV was enormous.”