Two businessmen defrauded TV broadcaster BSKYB out of more than £200,000 in an elaborate viewing card scam from their premises in Leeds.
More than 250 customers took advantage of the illegal scheme which gave them cut-price access to subscription channels.
Dilshad Jasim, 37, and Siako Afandi, 34, were arrested after a raid at S&J Satellite on Harehills Lane, Leeds, following an operation by police and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
The raid came after intelligence that adapted TV subscription receivers were being sold at the premises and another business in Birmingham.
Afandi had previously been Jasim’s partner at the Harehills firm but moved to the Midlands and set up World of Sat after the pair had a bust-up.
Computer equipment was seized in a series of raids during summer 2010. A total of £18,500 in cash was also seized. The investigation centred around technology which has become known as ‘card sharing’.
This saw Jasim and Afandi charge ‘customers’ a significantly reduced fee of £300 per year for a full Sky subscription as well as access to the European Satellite Network. An annual subscription to Sky alone costs around £560 a year.
So-called ‘card sharing’ works by using one genuine Sky card to share access to a full TV subscription package through the use of broadband internet technology. ‘Customers’ then pay a fee, significantly less than a conventional subscription package.
Records revealed Jasim had defrauded Sky to the value of £121,014 by providing Sky content without the necessary subscriptions. Afandi was found to have defrauded the broadcaster of £92,628.
Jasim, of Marston Mount, Leeds, pleaded guilty to six offences of selling an unauthorised decoder and three of possessing criminal property. He was given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work. Afandi, of Birmingham, admitted two offences of selling an unauthorised decoder, supplying articles for use in fraud and possessing criminal property. He was given a seven-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours unpaid work.
After the hearing at Leeds Crown Court, Det Con Carly North, of the Leeds District Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) Team, said: “This was a complex and highly technical criminal enterprise which has generated large sums of money for Jasim and Afandi.” They now face action under POCA.