A county Derry film pirate who made almost £300,000 from a ‘highly sophisticated fraud’ that could have cost the film industry £120m has been sentenced to four years.
Carnhill based social recluse Paul Mahoney pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, acquiring criminal property and concealing criminal property between April 2008 to April 2013.
The 29-year-old had set up a website where people viewed just unreleased or newly films and TV shows up to 12 million times.
Derry Crown Court heard how Mahoney continued to run the website even after he was served a cease and desist order by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and being arrested.
He made over £280,000 in advertising revenue and around £82,000 was found at his home when it was searched by police.
Passing sentence Judge Philip Babington said: “these offences represent offending which undoubtedly put at risk very many millions of pounds as far as the greater entertainment industry was concerned.
“Offending such as this affects everyone in society at the end of the day although primarily the interests of those involved in film production, the results of which we all enjoy.”