Three men have been charged with attempting to defraud Virgin Media of up to £40 million.
Anthony Ginnivan, Melvyn Howard and Jong You appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on Saturday. They were charged with conspiring to defraud Virgin Media of subscription services between February 1, 2010, and February 3 this year.
The three are accused of importing 44,000 set-top boxes that were modified to avoid paying subscriber fees to the cableco.
Electronic messages were sent from a house in Littleover in the suburbs of the East Midlands town of Derby, which enabled the channels to be received.
The introduction of the Nagra 3 conditional access system to Virgin Media over the last year removed access from chipped boxes. This suggests a more sophisticated card sharing operation.
Changes to the Virgin network have made it easier for the operator to indentify fraud on the system.