June 16, 2024

Judge suspends sentence

A Liverpool Crown Court judge sentenced a gambling addicted father to two years in prison for a Fire TV Stick hustle, but 41-year-old Kevin O’Donnell avoided serving time as the sentence was suspended for two years.

service providers losing out on an estimated £842,000

The judge, Miss Recorder Michelle Brown, delivered the verdict Tuesday. The Toxteth man avoided prison despite service providers losing out on an estimated £842,000 ($1,075,234) over his Fire Stick ruse.

According to The Mirror, O’Donnell sold modified Fire TV Sticks capable of illegally streaming subscription-only content. The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), a British organization founded to protect its members’ intellectual property, outed the Liverpool man.

FACT discovered O’Donnell was providing “unauthorized access to premium sports broadcasts, TV shows and movies owned by Sky and BT” from September 2020 to March 2023.

Enterprise driven by addictions

Judge Brown seemed to take the case summary of O’Donnell’s attorney to heart. The accused’s lawyer Kyra Badman stated her client was affected by the death of his “extremely close” father and that he became more reliant on gambling and alcohol as a means of escapism.

not driven by a pursuit of a lavish lifestyle

Bradman explained that O’Donnell’s illegal Fire Stick sideline was motivated by his gambling and alcohol addiction, not driven by a pursuit of a lavish lifestyle. The lawyer added that while her client, the main breadwinner for his five-year-old disabled son, accepted his guilt, his crime was “not quite as sophisticated as it might seem.”

O’Donnell’s crime came to light in May 2022 when FACT investigated a Facebook profile linked to the Liverpool man selling subscription packages for £85 ($108) for Amazon Fire TV Sticks or on remote smart devices.

O’Donnell’s Facebook profile warned of using amateurs to deliver the service he was offering, stating “Come with us, we have been selling for many years.” According to Bradman, her client was buying Fire Sticks for £40 ($51) and modifying them to make “a little profit on top.”

As FACT discovered, in just six months in 2022, 574 PayPal transactions were recorded on O’Donnell’s Facebook-linked PayPal account that totalled £136,000 ($173,724).

Streamers out of pocket

O’Donnell’s run of over two years selling the modified devices left the prosecution unsure of how much he had cost the big brands.

Prosecutor Kevin Liston acknowledged the difficulty in putting a precise figure to the significant losses O’Donnell’s venture caused the service providers. Liston then quoted estimates from Sky and BT based on average subscriptions. The former stated its losses could be as much as £371,000 ($473,728). BT said it might have lost as much as £471,000 ($473,728).

O’Donnell on Tuesday admitted “sole responsibility for the offenses,” while pleading guilty to “supplying articles for fraud use and offering a service designed to evade technological measures.”

The post UK Gambling Addict Avoids Jail for Fire Stick Hustle That Cost Sky, BT an Estimated $1m appeared first on Vegas Slots Online News.

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