Man who made almost £500,000 in Premier League TV scam ordered to pay back just £2,500

A salesman who made almost half-a-million pounds running a illegal sports broadcasting service has to pay back just £2,500.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 14:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 17:06 pm
Jason Graham, also known as Jason Richards.

Jason Graham, also known as Richards, along with business partner John Dodds, sold a satellite and streaming service scam to over 270 pubs and clubs in the North East, which allowed them to show pay-to-view Premier League football games, boxing matches and top level sport.

Newcastle Crown Court heard bar bosses would have expected to pay thousands of pounds per month to show the popular sports events to customers on large screens via legitimate broadcasters.

But the pair, using clever software, complicated computer systems and overseas servers, charged them less than £200 per month.

Teesside Crown Court.

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The court heard how their fraudulent firm, which offered customers 18 "bespoke" channels to chose from, made the illegal business over £1.5m.

But their con cost legitimate broadcasters worldwide, such as Sky, BT sports, NBC in America and Fox in Australia, "many multiples of that sum" in lost revenue.

Last year Graham, 45, of Front Street, East Boldon, and Dodds, 65, of Stainton Road, Seamer, North Yorkshire, both admitted conspiracy to defraud and were jailed for four-and-a-half years each.

Graham, who lived above a bar known as the Mid Club in Boldon, also admitted perverting justice by tampering with electronic equipment in his home, which contained evidence, when it was raided by the police.

Graham was back in court after prosecutors pursued him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Prosecutor Ari Alibhai told the court Graham made almost half of a million pounds in the illegal enterprise but has only £2,500 - in the form of his car - that can be seized.

Mr Alibhai told the court: "A financial investigator has made extensive inquiries to locate the available assets. including hidden assets, if relevant.

"It is agreed the benefit figure is £462,463. The available assets are limited in this case to £2,500."

Dodds' hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act will be held later this year.