Three operators of a pirate streaming organisation have been issued with a 17-year jail sentence, after they were found to be providing illegal access to a number of Premier League games over the last decade.
It is estimated that the trio had supplied a streaming service to over 1,000 pubs, clubs and homes across England and Wales.
“The fraudulent companies earned in excess of £5m through their illegal activity,” said the Premier League in a statement.
The driving force behind the fraud, Steven King, was slapped with a total jail sentence of seven years and four months; Paul Rolston was handed a six year and four month sentence and Daniel Malone was given three years and three months.
Director of legal services at the Premier League, Kevin Plumb believed that the jail sentences issued are an accurate reflection of the seriousness of the crime.
He said: “Using these services is unlawful and fans should be aware that when they do so they enter into agreements with illegal businesses. They also risk being victims of fraud or identity theft by handing over personal data and financial details.”
King operated the scam under the names Dreambox, Dreambox TV Limited, and Digital Switchover Limited, and was charged by Warwick crown court following a four-week trial.
The football league has worked alongside media companies such as BT and Sky to implement measures which would combat illegal streaming channels in a move to prioritise the value of broadcasting rights.