Today at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, Michael Hornung, 38, formerly of Hyde, Greater Manchester was ordered in his absence to pay £258,642.95 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Mr. Hornung has three months to satisfy the order and if in default will serve an additional three years’ imprisonment.
Hornung was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment on 16 June 2022 for selling and advertising unauthorised decoders for use in fraud over a three-year period between 2014 and 2017.
FACT commenced the investigation on Hornung in April 2014 when, following a test purchase of a device, it was subsequently proven that it enabled access to numerous channels from Virgin’s cable subscription service, including Sky Sports and Sky Movies, without any payment being made.
FACT Chief Executive Kieron Sharp said: “Today’s confiscation order makes clear the consequences of providing illegal streaming services, a serious criminal offence which in this case has led to a substantial prison sentence and now severe financial penalties.
“We are pleased the court have recognised the seriousness of piracy-related crime and we thank Greater Manchester Police for their support and assistance during the course of a complex investigation.
“The money recovered will go back to public bodies, including law enforcement agencies, which assists them in their efforts to bring criminals to justice”.
FACT work with sports rights holders, broadcast partners, and others across the spectrum of the audio-visual industry to investigate and prosecute suppliers of illegal streaming services and other piracy crimes, as well as those accessing illegal content.
If you come across anything that doesn’t look legitimate, Crimestoppers make it easy for you to report it. Contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or by filling out their online form.
Note to editor:
- Sentencing Press Release (17 June 2022) can be found on FACT news here
- Mr. Hornung is currently still at large and is believed to be residing in Northern Cyprus
FACT are the UK’s leading intellectual property protection organisation protecting brands and businesses against fraud and IP crime. Established in 1983, FACT are at the forefront of the fight against intellectual property crime in the UK and internationally on behalf of rights holders and content creators. www.fact-uk.org.uk
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