Two men who were part of a group convicted of conspiracy to defraud Virgin Media have been sentenced at Leicester Crown Court.
Manish Javahar, 35, of Harrison Road, Leicester pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to defraud Virgin Media and was sentenced to 21 months in prison and Bobby Bhairon, 39, Owenford Road, Coventry pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to defraud Virgin Media and was sentenced to 19 months in prison, suspended for two years.
The man behind the fraud, Mahesh Tailor, 51, of Hollies Way, Thurnby, Leicester, the owner of a printed circuit board manufacturer, imported thousands of set-top boxes from the Far East and sold them for up to £180 each. The boxes – effectively OTT devices – pulled in channels from overseas, bypassing the need for a subscription from the cable operator.
Customers reached him through internet forums and a dedicated website.
Last August, Tailor was sentenced to six years in prison and disqualified from being a company director for eight years.
Detective Constable Amrat Bhagwan investigated the case. He said: “This was a lengthy and complex investigation which saw officers being deployed at various locations across the country to take the network down and render the boxes useless.
“When we raided Tailor’s home, we found £250,000 in cash in various rooms. There were similar amounts held in his business bank accounts.
During the investigation Leicestershire Police recovered a container with 5,000 set-top boxes inside and it’s believed that Tailor had already sold multiple similar consignments.