Peter Dilworth, 36, from Wirral, ran Marvel Stream UK, which offered illegal access to sports and entertainment content. He appeared in Liverpool Crown Court this week, having pleaded guilty, and was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Merseyside Police arrested Dilworth in March after working closely with FACT - an agency that investigates cyber crime, fraud and other IP crime. FACT began their investigation in January last year after receiving intelligence from the Premier League which indicated that Marvel Stream UK provided access to matches and Sky Sports and BT Sport broadcasts.
Merseyside Police Detective Constable Gareth Jones said: “Dilworth made a considerable amount of money from his dishonesty, and we are glad that this joint investigation has resulted in such a positive outcome. Illegal streaming is far from a victimless crime, and as well as the impact it has on the businesses and content creators, essentially means that legitimate subscribers pay for those who illegally access such services.”
Kevin Plumb, General Counsel for the Premier League said: “We would like to thank Merseyside Police for all their work and support on this case. The successful prosecution would not have been possible without them acting on our intelligence and ultimately arresting the operator.
“The vast majority of our fans watch Premier League action via authorised sources but those who don’t must be aware this is not only an illegal activity that can lead to custodial sentences but also one that leaves them at risk of becoming victims of hacking, viruses, and fraud.”
Dilworth’s sentencing follows the recent sentencing of Michael Hornung, formerly of Manchester who received a four year and six months prison sentence and a Confiscation Order of £258,000 for selling and advertising unauthorised decoders that were enabled to access unauthorised channels from Virgin’s cable subscription service, including Sky Sports and BT Sport.