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30th May 2023

Operators of illegal streaming network jailed for 30 years and 7 months

Charlie Herbert

Operators of illegal streaming network jailed for 30 years 7 months

They made more than £7m from their service

Five men who illegally streamed Premier League football matches to tens of thousands of people have been jailed for a combined total of 30 years and seven months.

The gang, aged between 30 and 46, sold TV sticks to customers which allowed them to watch games that aren’t aired live by UK broadcasters due to the 3pm blackout.

Their operation, described as the biggest so far, received more than £7m from 50,000 subscribers, the BBC reports.

The group charged £10 per month for the service, called Flawless TV. By comparison, a similar subscription with Sky Sports and BT Sports would cost between £60-£80 per month.

Mark Gould, 36, Steven Gordon, 46, Peter Jolley, 41, Christopher Felvus, 36, William Brown, 33, and Zak Smith, 30 were sentenced at Chesterfield Justice Centre on Tuesday, after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and contempt of court.

Gould was described by Judge Martin Hurst as the driving force of the organisation, and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Gordon, Jolley, Felvus and Brown all received sentences ranging from three to six years.

The sentencing follows a rare private prosecution by the Premier League.

Premier League lawyers said the fraud prosecution was brought against the men to protect “some of the world’s most valuable content.”

It followed a lengthy trading-standards investigation led by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

The personal details of many of those who paid for Flawless TV are now in the hands of investigators, raising the question of what action might be taken against them.

Last year, a man was ordered to pay a fine of just under £1m for providing illegal streaming devices.

Steven King, who was jailed for seven years and four months in March 2019, was one of three men behind the Dreambox pirate streaming operation.

In June last year he was given three months to pay back £963,000 – equal to the amount he has made from from providing the illegal devices – or face having his jail term near doubled.

Related links:

Police to visit 1,000 homes in a bid to crack down on illegal streaming