A Wolverhampton man has been sentenced to three years in prison for illegally copying and then selling software and DVDs worth a possible £1m.
Steve Adams bought an apartment in Spain, a Range Rover and weight-loss surgery while running a major film and software piracy racket the Crown Court in Wolverhampton was told on Friday. The operation which involved copying software and DVDs and then selling them over the Internet and at local computer fairs was eventually shut down by trading standards officers and the police.
The racket run by the 38-year-old bought him a life of luxury. This included, a £14,600 Rolex watch, a personalised number plate spelling out “England” costing £6,500, around £4,000 for his girlfriend Julie Frendo to undergo breast enlargement surgery (and £6,000 for Adams to have gastric band fitted) and the apartment in Spain.
Mr Barry Berlin, prosecuting, told the court Adams ran a “substantial counterfeiting operation all over the country, literally from Wolverhampton through to Carlisle.”
The prosecution estimated that the cost to the industry, “is in the region of £924,000” while the profit to Adams was around £200,000, at “a conservative estimate.”
An examination of Adams’ bank records showed some £627,000 was moved around accounts.
Adams girlfriend had a one year sentence suspended as did an accomplice.
Adams copied more than 30,000 discs the police believe.