To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Man who made over £1 million from Fire Sticks and illegal streaming was sent to jail

Man who made over £1 million from Fire Sticks and illegal streaming was sent to jail

A man sold a service where customers could watch a range of sports and entertainment content.

A man was jailed after bagging more than £1,000,000 off the back of an illegal Premier League football streaming ploy.

Steven Mills, 58, sold Fire Sticks to people that allowed them to watch games in the Premier League in a big criminal operation.

He ran his business for five years through a Facebook group and claimed he had more than 30,000 subscribers.

1,000 customers were identified following an investigation by the Premier League, West Mercia Police and FACT, an anti-piracy organisation.

Last year, Mills pleaded guilty to multiple fraud offences at Shrewsbury Crown Court and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison on October 6.

The man from Shrewsbury was also convicted of a separate offence for watching the illegal content he was supplying to others.

His service was primarily aimed at UK-based customers and traded under the names Pikabox and Eyepeeteevee, which offered a range of sports and entertainment content.

According to the Premier League, the operation was 'sophisticated' and said that Mills took 'significant steps' to disguise his activity from detection.

A judge highlighted the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and recorded tutorial videos, which supported his customers to access the illegal content.

Police and FACT officials visited some of the customers who purchased the service and served notices to cease illegal streaming activities with immediate effect.

A man pocketed more than £1 million from his illicit business. Image: Getty
A man pocketed more than £1 million from his illicit business. Image: Getty

The Premier League general counsel Kevin Plumb said: "The sentence handed down by the crown court today once again clearly demonstrates the severity of piracy-related offences and the consequences that come with them.

"It is vital that the public continue to be made aware of the dangers and criminality associated with using illegal streaming services.

"We are aware that so-called 'Fire Sticks' are being sold as a means of illegally accessing all kinds of content, and today’s judgment should remove any doubt that it is illegal and treated very seriously by the courts."

Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, added: "FACT are committed to safeguarding the broadcast rights of our partners and we hope that the severity of the sentence sends out a clear message that piracy is a crime that is taken very seriously by the courts."

Matt McNelis, detective inspector from West Mercia Police, said: "This was a great example of partners from law enforcement and industry coming together to have a profound effect on this type of criminality.

"It’s clear that no single agency alone can be as effective as closely coordinated teams working towards achieving an objective.

"The investigation, run by the force cyber crime unit, utilised sensitive tactics to increase the preventative messaging during the arrest phase before following up again with FACT to disrupt and educate others linked to Mills earlier this year."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Premier League