ANNOUNCEMENT: 42 month sentence for defrauding Sky

24 August 2015

Fraudsters who illegally sold on access to Premier League football coverage have been jailed following a joint investigation by Surrey Police and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) with assistance from Sky UK.

The Duo ran a company (Digicams) in Bagshot, Surrey, obtaining hundreds of domestic-use-only Sky cards, using fraudulent names and addresses in an attempt to hide their real identities. The cards were then sold on to commercial premises, including pubs, betting shops and yachts. Although the commercial premises paid a large one-off premium for the cards, they made huge savings on their monthly fees in the long run. They were also under strict instructions not to contact Sky directly or they would face having their subscription cancelled.

After a carefully planned and executed investigation the defendant's homes were searched in September 2012 where payslips and paperwork relating to the fraud were found.

On Wednesday 19th August 2015, Simon Hopkins and Leon Passlow pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud between January 2008 and September 2012. They were sentenced to a three and a half year custodial sentence with an asset confiscation hearing scheduled for February 2016.

This judgement serves as a reminder to the pub industry, and other businesses which show live football, that Sky Sports and BT Sport are the only authorised broadcasters of live Premier League football in the UK.