Three men jailed for 10 years in fake DVD operation

Three men were today jailed for a total of 10 years and seven months for selling fake DVDs following a successful investigation by Suffolk Trading Standards and FACT.

Frankie Ansell, of Grove Road, Beccles was jailed for 45 months and his cousin Lee Ansell, of Stonebow Close, Loughborough was jailed for 41 months. Howard Davey, of Esher House, Eastbourne, received a 41 month prison sentence.

Joseph Plant, of Heathcoat Street, Loughborough, received a 16 month sentence, suspended for two years, and was also ordered to undertake 200 hours unpaid of unpaid work.

The four men managed the sophisticated counterfeit DVD business over a two-and-a-half-year period, selling over 31,000 DVDs, worth more than £500,000. The operation involved the use of fake identities and paperwork, as well as money laundering practices.

Suffolk Trading Standards began the investigation when they received a complaint from FACT concerning Frankie Ansell and the sale of counterfeit DVDs. A search of his home in Beccles followed and led to the seizure of £5,670 in cash, 600 counterfeit DVD titles, and electronic devices.

Suffolk Trading Standards then identified other individuals involved. Warrants were executed for Lee Ansell and Joseph Plant in Leicestershire and Howard Davey in Eastbourne. These resulted in the seizure of a high specification computer, along with laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Also seized was £5,000 in cash, £1,250 worth of gift cards, two DVD copying towers, a laser printer, as well as hundreds of blank DVDs.

Kieron Sharp, Chief Executive of FACT, said: “This was no one-man-band operation. This was a serious organised crime group who sold tens of thousands of DVDs pocketing more than £500,000 in criminal money.

“Many people think piracy is a victimless crime, however criminal operations like this have devastating effects on the creative industries and the people working in them.

“We would like to commend Suffolk Trading Standards for leading this investigation and will continue to work with trading standards and police forces across the country to crackdown on film/TV piracy.”

Graham Crisp, Joint Head of Trading Standards, said: “This was not a typical counterfeit DVD operation. It was sophisticated and well organised. The DVD products were comparable to genuine products as were sold at the correct retail price. All these factors gave consumers the impression they were buying genuine products and should have no reason to think they were being ripped off.  

“I would like to praise the Trading Standards team for all their hard work in this case and for bringing these fraudsters to justice and I would also like to thank the National Trading Standards Regional Investigation Team and FACT for all the support that they have provided in this investigation.”

Related News

Partnerships Prosecutions

Counterfeit DVD seller ordered to pay £567,000

A Staffordshire man who was jailed for 16 months for selling fake DVDs on eBay, has since been ordered to pay back more than half a million pounds. A successful joint investigation by FACT and Staffordshire Trading Standards discovered Foster was buying counterfeit DVDs from China and selling as genuine products on eBay to customers across the world. He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment in January 2016.

News Partnerships Prosecutions

Two men ordered to pay over £19k for illegal Sky Sports

On Monday 12th February 2018, Mr Carl Furlong, of the Park Hotel, Liverpool was found guilty in his absence of four offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission by showing Sky Sports to customers without a commercial agreement from Sky. Carl Furlong and Peter Scully of the Park Hotel in Liverpool, Merseyside, were originally found … Continued

News Partnerships

Dutch courts grant injunction against Ecatel for illegal Premier League streams

The internet hosting provider Ecatel has been ordered by the Dutch District Court in The Hague to stop providing any services that facilitate the viewing of illegal streams of Premier League football, and could face a fine of up to €1.5 million if it refuses to do so. The Premier League took legal action against … Continued

News Prosecutions

Pub fined £24k for showing Sky Sports illegally

A Huddersfield licensee has pleaded guilty to six offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission by showing Sky Sports football matches to customers without a commercial agreement from Sky. Casa Events Ltd, premises licensee of The Casa, Huddersfield, was fined £2,500 on each offence, plus ordered to pay a £200 victim surcharge and costs … Continued