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£13,000 recovered from convicted trader

16 Nov 2018

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) has secured the repayment of more than £13,000 from a convicted trader after he had evaded payment for over two years.

William Marston, 55, formerly of Knowsley Road, Norwich, who traded as Billie the Bookie, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment in May for selling unauthorized TV decoders, in contravention of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, having previously been handed a 12-month suspended sentence for the same crime in 2016, after a private prosecution.

He had been ordered to pay back £12,042 in 2016, but failed to hand over any cash. In August 2017, ERSOU’s Asset Confiscation Enforcement (ACE) team was called in to assist and on Friday (9 November) recovered the outstanding debt, plus interest of £1,504, after securing his share in a property.

Nick Bentley Financial Investigation Manager of the ACE team, said, “This confiscation order sends a clear message that anyone benefiting from their criminal actions will have those assets stripped from them, as crime will not pay. Through good partnership working between the ACE team and the South-East Regional Confiscation Unit we have recovered assets from another person who has profited from unlawful activity.”

Kieron Sharp, CEO of The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), said, “Following on from a sentence of imprisonment in May 2018, William Marston now has to pay back money that he made from his criminal enterprise. Others taking part in illegal streaming and other related criminality should be aware that the penalties for offending encompass the seizing of criminal profits as well as any sentence for the original offense. I would like to thank the officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit for pursuing Marston’s criminal assets using proceeds of crime legislation.”

Kevin Smith, General Counsel of SIS, said, “We are very pleased that ERSOU has secured the payment of the confiscation order, following the custodial sentence in May. The court recognized that Marston’s actions undermined the entire system of how betting is licensed and racing is funded. The sentence handed down at the time highlighted that fact that the courts are prepared to treat copyright infringement as theft. The fact that the authorities are prepared to recover the proceeds of crime further reinforces the consequences of this kind of criminal behavior.

“SIS has an obligation to its customers and rights holders alike to ensure that the value of content remains undiluted and will not hesitate to prosecute offenders in the future.”
 
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