Seller of illicit streaming devices ordered to pay over £500,000

A criminal found guilty of supplying illegal streaming devices (ISDs) providing unauthorised access to Premier League content has been ordered to pay back more than £520,000, to the ‘public purse’.

In April 2018, John Dodds was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison having pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to defraud. Dodds sold ISDs to hundreds of pubs and clubs in North East England as well as deceiving customers who were regularly left with faulty devices. Upon his initial arrest, Dodds attempted to prevent evidence being discovered by the police. He was found to be hiding the keys to a car full of equipment and documentation, including a list of all his clients.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Dodds was ordered to pay back £521,000 within three months or face his prison sentence being extended by an additional five years.

On issuing the Order, the judge described Dodds as an unreliable and dishonest character. Dodds was found to have concealed proceeds of his criminal activities by hiding large amounts of cash in his house and placing property assets in his daughter’s name, in what the judge found to be ‘a sham’.

Premier League Director of Legal Services Kevin Plumb said: “This is a welcome judgment and we are pleased the courts have recognised how serious an issue illegal streaming is – it is a crime which has very significant consequences.

“The defendant has now been ordered to forfeit the proceeds of his criminal activities, which we have requested go directly back to the public purse.  The money recovered will go towards funding the courts and law enforcement agencies to help continue the brilliant work they do in helping bring people like this to justice.”

Dodds and Richards were arrested following an investigation led by the Premier League working in partnership with FACT.

CEO of FACT Kieron Sharp said: “Today’s court order shows emphatically that providing illegal streaming services is a serious criminal offence that will result in a prison sentence for fraud and additional financial consequences.

“This is a warning to anyone selling subscriptions or devices that allow access to content without remunerating the legitimate provider – you risk time in jail and the loss of your properties, cars and other proceeds of crime.

“FACT will continue to work with members to crackdown on illegal streaming and to hold those behind it accountable for their actions.”

 

A range of North East bodies, including North East GAIN and The National Trading Standards Regional Investigation Team, played key supporting roles in the investigation.

Lord Toby Harris, Chair, National Trading Standards, said:

“Mr Dodds orchestrated the sale of hundreds of devices that undermined legitimate businesses and ripped off consumers, with many customers paying for Kodi-style boxes and equipment that were faulty.

“The long prison sentence, combined with the additional confiscation orders announced this week, send a strong message that crime does not pay. This case clearly demonstrates that providing access to unauthorised streams and content is illegal and anyone engaging in piracy of this nature is liable to prosecution.”

 

If you come across any content that doesn’t look legitimate, Crimestoppers makes it easy for you to report it. Contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or filling out their online form.

Follow Us

Related News

News

Thousands of subscribers to illegal streaming service warned by police

Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary have taken the unprecedented step of issuing individual warning notices to thousands of consumers believed to have been using an illegal TV streaming service. The warning, which was issued by Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary Cyber, Intelligence and Serious Organised Crime Directorate, has been issued to subscribers of a service called GE … Continued

News

Two-year prison sentence for man convicted of selling illegal streaming devices

A man who pleaded guilty to supplying set-top-boxes which illegally provided access to premium pay TV content has been jailed for two years, in the latest in a series of actions designed to crackdown on illegal streaming. Paul Jaques, of West Yorkshire, sold around 2,500 of the illegal devices, with accompanying illicit subscriptions. Between 2015 … Continued

News

FACT warning ahead of the return of pay per view boxing

Pay per view boxing returns on 22 August, with Dillian Whyte facing Alexander Povetkin & Katie Taylor rematching Delfine Persoon. Boxing fans are being warned that the game is up when it comes to illegal streaming. More and more effective action is being taken to shut down illegal streams, and enforcement and legal action is … Continued

News

FACT action stops seventeen infringing services

Action taken by FACT investigators as a result of a nationwide crackdown on digital piracy has resulted in the halt of seventeen separate services providing illicit content. Individuals that were providing loaded Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs) and illegal streams via websites and social media pages including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have stopped operations after investigators … Continued