Mishcon de Reya has acted for Sky in the private prosecution of an individual, Warren Gleave, who had unlawfully made in excess of £200,000 by selling - via online marketplaces - devices that provide access to Sky and other premium content being streamed illegally.
In May Mr Gleave pleaded guilty to an offence of knowingly participating in a fraudulent business, contrary to section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006. On 16 August, he was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment.
Mishcon de Reya Legal Director Gareth Minty, part of the firm's White Collar Crime Group, said:
“More than ever, those who are illegally engaging in piracy are in jeopardy of being detected, prosecuted and convicted. Private prosecutions are being used increasingly by rights holders, which means it is no longer just the police and other state authorities investigating and prosecuting these crimes.
"Private prosecutions are instrumental in cases such as this, where those who break IP law and commit fraud can be held to account.
"As the level of investment in state prosecution has come under increasing pressure, we are seeing a variety of businesses and individuals using private prosecutions to reinforce the message that certain behaviours will not be tolerated; that there will be repercussions; that a business – or individual – is willing to make a stand. Indeed, private prosecutions have been shown to enhance company reputations, reinforce corporate culture, and to act as a deterrent strategy for future behaviours that are harmful to business. Because they have been so effective in this regard, increased use of them is a trend we are fully expecting to continue."
This case follows the private prosecution of Paul Sultana in which Mishcon de Reya acted for Allseas and defrauded shipping tycoon Edward Heerema - thought to be the largest fraud in Britain to be successfully prosecuted privately.
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