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Suffolk man involved in £500,000 pirate DVD scam ordered to repay just £5,000

PUBLISHED: 13:20 20 March 2018

DVDs seized by Suffolk Trading Standards after a raid on Frankie Ansell's former home in Beccles. Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

DVDs seized by Suffolk Trading Standards after a raid on Frankie Ansell's former home in Beccles. Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

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A Suffolk man who is serving a 45 month jail sentence for his part in a £500,000 pirate DVD scam has been ordered to repay £5,000 after a court heard he has no other available assets.

Before Ipswich Crown Court for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was Frankie Ansell, 29, formerly of Grove Road, Beccles, who admitted conspiracy to defraud and was jailed in May last year.

Today, March 20, Judge Martyn Levett said that Ansell’s benefit from his criminal offending was £224,000 but as he only had available assets of £5,719 he made a confiscation order in that sum.

He gave Ansell three months to pay the order with three months imprisonment in default.

Also before the court last year were Ansell’s cousin Lee Ansell, 38, of Loughborough, who admitted conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and possessing an article for use in fraud and was jailed for 41 months and Howard Davey, 25, from Eastbourne, who admitted conspiracy to defraud and possessing articles for use in fraud and was also jailed for 41 months.

Also before the court was Joseph Plant, 35, of Loughborough, who admitted conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, and was given a 16 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

The court heard that the defendants were involved in a sophisticated counterfeit DVD business and sold more than 30,000 DVD’s in a two-and-a half year period.

The operation involved money laundering and the use of multiple fake identities and paperwork.

Suffolk Trading Standards began their investigation when they received a complaint concerning Frankie Ansell and the sale of counterfeit DVDs.

A search of his home in Beccles followed and led to the seizure of £5,670 in cash, 600 counterfeit DVD titles, and electronic devices.

Officers then identified other individuals involved. Warrants were executed for Lee Ansell and Joseph Plant in Leicestershire and Howard Davey in Eastbourne. These resulted in the seizure of a high specification computer, along with laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Also seized was £5,000 in cash, £1,250 worth of gift cards, two DVD copying towers, a laser printer, as well as hundreds of blank DVDs.

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