Search

Three men jailed for more than 10 years following pirate DVD scam

PUBLISHED: 20:06 16 May 2017 | UPDATED: 20:18 16 May 2017

The men managed a counterfeit DVD business over a two-and-half-year period selling over 30,000 DVDs. Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

The men managed a counterfeit DVD business over a two-and-half-year period selling over 30,000 DVDs. Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

Archant

Three men, including one from Suffolk, who were involved in a £500,000 pirate DVD scam have been given jail sentences totalling more than 10 years.

Graham Crisp, joint head of Trading Standards, said the Graham Crisp, joint head of Trading Standards, said the "DVD products were comparable to genuine products". Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

The men managed the sophisticated counterfeit DVD business over a two-and-half-year period selling over 30,000 DVD’s, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The operation involved money laundering and the use of multiple fake identities and paperwork, said Alison Lambert, prosecuting.

Before the court were: Frankie Ansell, 29, of Grove Road, Beccles, who admitted conspiracy to defraud and was jailed for 45 months; his 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.

Frankie Ansell going into Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing. Picture: ARCHANTFrankie Ansell going into Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing. Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Trading Standards began the 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.

After today’s sentencing hearing Graham Crisp, Joint Head of Trading Standards, said: “This was not a typical counterfeit DVD operation. It was sophisticated and well organised.

The three men, involved in the £500,000 pirate DVD scam, have been given jail sentences totalling more than 10 years.  Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDSThe three men, involved in the £500,000 pirate DVD scam, have been given jail sentences totalling more than 10 years. Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

“The DVD products were comparable to genuine products as were sold at the correct retail price. All these factors gave consumers the impression they were buying genuine products and should have no reason to think they were being ripped off.

“I would like to praise the Trading Standards team for all their hard work in this case and for bringing these fraudsters to justice and I would also like to thank the National Trading Standards Regional Investigation Team and FACT for all the support that they have provided in this investigation.

Kieron Sharp, Chief Executive of FACT, said: “This was no one-man-band operation. This was a serious organised crime group who sold tens of thousands of DVDs pocketing more than £650,000 in criminal money.

“Many people think piracy is a victimless crime, however criminal operations like this have devastating effects on the creative industries and the people working in them.

Some of the DVDs seized during the operation.  Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDSSome of the DVDs seized during the operation. Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

“We would like to commend Suffolk Trading Standards for leading this investigation and will continue to work with trading standards and police forces across the country to crackdown on film/TV piracy.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times