Seven people who ran a fake IPTV and card-sharing business went to jail for fraud. Two of the group’s leaders got 44-month prison terms, and the other five served between 9 and 18-month sentences. A court stopped the accused’ jail terms after giving back about one million euros of the money they earned from the fraud.
Entertainment industry groups go after pirate IPTV services, suppliers, and resellers in many European countries.
These low-cost streaming subscription services are widely available and popular with customers. Rightsholders see them as illegal businesses. They have no place on the market. Law enforcement agencies all over Europe agree with this opinion. Spain is just one of the places where they fighting over this.
EGEDA makes a complaint, and the police go on raids.
In May 2019, EGEDA, a group that protects audiovisual rights, filed a criminal complaint against Comprarccam, a company that sells subscriptions to pirate IPTV and card-sharing services.
After the police looked into it, a report said that the pirate operation served at least 15,000 customers in Spain. Two of the group’s leaders were popular. These leaders were in Salamanca and Zamora.
In February and March 2020, the police will follow up with a two-part operation. Officers were able to take documents and account information and then follow up with organized raids. Six places were searched, and seven people were put into custody: one in Zamora, one in Salamanca, one in Córdoba, three in Valencia, and one in Málaga.
All of them were in custody after the accusation of IP-related crimes, such as telecommunications fraud. The police took away computers, cell phones, more than 10,000 euros in cash, and seven bars of gold. The group’s website and the pirate services that went with it were shut down. Based on claims that the group cost rightsholders around 11.8 million euros, financial accounts, and payment processing facilities were frozen.
The Criminal Organization
Prosecutors say that two men were in charge of the “criminal organization” that ran the IPTV and card-sharing business.
One person ran the “logistics center” from his home in Zamora. He did things like manage IPTV panels and helped users through online messaging. A second man from Salamanca ran a service that sent people to streams that let them watch sports content, movies, and TV shows without paying.
Five other members worked out of Córdoba, Valencia (three times), and Málaga. They were in charge of getting illegal subscriptions to customers. People thought these people were important but not as important as the men in Zamora and Salamanca.
The Technological Crimes Group of the Valladolid National Police looked into the case and found that the defendants’ fraud made them about 1.2 million euros between May 2019 and May 2020.
Defendants Sentenced to Almost Nine Years in Prison
More than two years after the raids, a court in Zamora (Audiencia Provincial) found all seven defendants guilty of fraud because they helped people access content that broke the law.
Each of the two leaders got a prison sentence of 23 months. Two others got 18-month and 16-month sentences, and the other three got 9-month sentences each. But it looks like the defendants won’t go to jail immediately because they pleaded guilty and are taking steps to pay back the money they got from the fraud.
A report from the area says that the defendants have already paid back most of the $1.2 million they made. They still owe 250,000 euros. If any of the defendants do anything wrong again in the next two years, they will go to prison immediately to serve their sentences.