UK Videogame Counterfeiter Gets Two Additional Years in Prison

UK trade group ELSPA announced that a Videogame counterfeiter has been re-imprisoned for failure to pay back restitution for his crime. Under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) Investigation, videogames counterfeiter Steve Adams was required to pay a court ordered £109,000 by December 25, 2009; failure to pay would result in a further 2 years imprisonment.

Adams was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for more than 50 trademark offences in 2008, after a total seizure of 32,000 discs at his home. Adams, his girlfriend Julie Frendo and accomplice Greg Gartside ran a counterfeiting operation from 2004 to 2008 in Midlands and North West England, earning them approximately £200,000 and costing the videogame, music and film industries an estimated £1million – according to ELSPA. Adams was jailed for three years following a major investigation by Wolverhampton Trading Standards, West Midlands Police and investigators from ELSPA.

Having failed to pay back the money, Adams was sentenced to a two year sentence a breach hearing in the Birmingham Magistrates Court.

"We are very pleased that Mr Adams has been re-imprisoned following his refusal to pay back the money made through this highly illegal scam," said Michael Rawlinson, Director General of ELSPA "Despite serving a further two years in jail, thanks to the POCA appeal Mr Adams will still be liable for the debt upon release, which really does send the message to all would-be IP thieves that crime does not pay."

Source: ELSPA by way of Andrew Eisen.

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  1. 0
    State says:

    Whilst of course what he did was wrong and he should rightfully be punished, I always find it disturbing that crimes that rip-off big companies (like fraud and counterfeiting) always receive much stronger penalties than crimes that affect people such as assault and sexual assault. There are many cases where rape, GBH and child abuse receive much lower penalties (such as much weaker prison sentences, if any at all).

  2. 0
    tetracycloide says:

    Is that legal?  Going to jail because you’re bankrupt sounds a lot like debter’s prison to me.  Or is he just refusing to pay?  Can’t the government just take the money if he has it and be done with it?

    my vanity is justified

  3. 0
    Thad says:

    THESE are the pirates the publishers should be focusing on.  There’s a big difference between somebody who torrents a few files and somebody who sells tens of thousands of counterfeits.

    Glad they got the guy.

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