Italian Guardia di Finanza investigation uncovers sophisticated fraud of Sky Italia & Mediaset

15 March 2016

PRESS RELEASE La Spezia, March 11, 2015

OPERATION "FIRST RUN" (the meaning was “first movie release in cinemas” – Prima visione)

TAX and FINANCE POLICE UNIT OF LA SPEZIA, COORDINATED BY DR. LUCA MONTEVERDE, PROSECUTOR AT THE LOCAL ATTORNEY, LEADING TO WIDE INVESTIGATION UNMASKING A SOPHISTICATED  MECHANISM OF FRAUD AGAINST "SKY" and "Mediaset"companies. 

Starting from information acquired in the course of the economic control of the territory, the Italian Tax Police Unit launched a specific investigation, coordinated by the Public Prosecutor, which  identified a subject in the city La Spezia in possession of a sophisticated software system and hardware devices capable of receiving unlawfully encrypted signals emitted by  "SKY" and "Mediaset"  to provide it directly to the home of  his "customers".

All devices were seized during the house search. 

In exchange for a monthly fee of 20 Euro, the "customers" could benefit from the use of subscriptions "full" on both television platforms, either by the mechanism called "CARD-SHARING" or means of receiving "IP-TV" signal.

The investigations, also performed with the aid of computer consultants of the companies,  Mediaset and Sky, as well as exposing the fraudulent conduct of that person, has identified a large network of clients managed by the same person, as the "owner" and "reseller", branched throughout the national territory.

The evidence gathered allowed the Guardia di Finanza to ascertain that the subject had been carrying out the illegal activity for at least eight months. During the period he accumulated estimated profits for about 50,000 Euros and caused economic harm to Sky and Mediaset of nearly half a million euros in loss of revenues.

The Guardia di Finanzia identified 240  users of the service,  also reported to the Judicial Authority of the additional 23 prosecutors competent for the place of the offence, located in 12 regions of the national territory, in breach of Article. 171-g L. 633/41, for the protection of copyright.

If found guilty the suspects face up to three years in prison and a 25,000 euros fine.

The violation of copyright damages the market in which opportunities and work of companies that abide by the rules, the respect of which, even in the economic field, is a fundamental condition for attracting investment and boosting development and growth.

Against the owner of the network has also challenged the art.171-ter L. 633/41, violation  that provides, if convicted, imprisonment up to four years and more than 15,000 euros in fines.

The investigations have revealed that the source of the encrypted signals were located in some servers located in France. In this regard, investigations are continuing in order to coordinate information-investigation outside the Italian borders.

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