Illegal streaming service operator jailed in UK | Security | News | Rapid TV News
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A husband and wife team who illegally made £750,000 by selling over 8,000 illicit streaming devices and setting-up their own streaming service in the UK to provide illegal access to Premier League football have received jail sentences for their actions.
premier league logo png 2 May 2018
John Haggerty, the owner of Evolution Trading, appeared in Newcastle Crown Court on 16 July 2018 for sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly obtaining services for another, contrary to the UK’s Fraud Act. Haggerty, the owner and operator of a major pirate streaming service, and mass supplier of illicit streaming devices that provided illegal access to Premier League football, was jailed for five years and three months. His wife, Mary Gilfillan with whom he ran the company, was also convicted of fraud offences in the case and handed a two-year suspended sentence.

The Court heard that Evolution Trading sold more than 8,000 illegal devices which were loaded with add-ons to enable publicans and consumers to view illegal streams of Premier League football. Evolution also created and sold access to its own illegal streaming service – – to thousands of customers. Between March 2013 and July 2015, the operators of Evolution generated more than £750,000 through their illegal activity.

In addition to selling access to illegal content, Haggerty possessed multiple passports in different names, set up an offshore ‘dummy company’ in the Caribbean Island of Nevis to hide the true purpose of his business and, in collusion with his wife Ms. Gilfillan, supplied the UK Immigration Service with false documents to sponsor an Egyptian national who maintained the illegal streaming service for the company. During the investigation it transpired that Mr Haggerty previously spent time in prison in the US between 2009 to 2012 following a fraud conviction.

The trial highlighted the fact that in addition to supplying such pirate devices and services being illegal, so too was using them. This was the first time that such activity had ended in an English Court and the trial Judge noted that Haggerty had put all his thousands of customers at risk of prosecution.

Two previous cases involving the sale of illegal streaming services providing access to Premier League football have also led to custodial sentences. In April 2018, a Premier League investigation led to authorities taking action against a £1.5 million fraud involving the sale of thousands of illicit streaming devices that made available illegal streams of Premier League football. The perpetrators were jailed for four and a half years, again in Newcastle Crown Court.

In December 2016, a man involved in the mass supply of IPTV boxes that enabled unauthorised viewing of Premier League football was jailed for four years. This followed an investigation by the Premier League and FACT,  the UK’s leading intellectual property protection organisation.

Commenting on the recent prosecution, FACT CEO Kieron Sharp said: “This sentencing is another step forward in the right direction to tackling the issue of illegal streaming. We will continue to work with the Premier League, industry and law enforcement agencies across the UK to clampdown on the sale of illicit streaming devices as they pose a real threat to the creative industries, the UK economy and the livelihoods of the 1.9 million people working behind the scenes of our favourite sport, TV and film. The public should be aware that selling devices or subscriptions that allow access to premium content you normally pay for is illegal. Similarly using one of these methods to stream premium TV, sports and films for which you should have an official subscription is also breaking the law.”

Added Premier League director of legal services, Kevin Plumb: “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. The fact that a major supplier was engaged in so much criminal behaviour – from using multiple passports in different names to lying to the Immigration Service – should be a warning to the authorities and consumers about the types of people involved in this activity. It also serves as a reminder to people that they take huge risks by handing over bank details and personal data to rogue operators like Evolution and of our copyright [is] 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.”