Illegal Premier League streamers jailed for a combined 30 years and seven months after making £7m from pirating matches over five-year period

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The decision was handed down at the Chesterfield Justice Centre, with the five individuals found to be guilty of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and contempt of court.

It is believed to be the world's largest prosecution of an illegal streaming network in history.

The people in question were operating under three different organisations, 'Flawless', 'Shared VPS' and 'Optimal' (also known as 'Cosmic'). Over five years, these fraudulent sites generated over £7 million ($8.7m).

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While five people spearheaded the businesses, it was found that they paid a total of 30 employees and sold services to more than 50,000 customers and resellers. Aside from illegal streaming of Premier League matches, the sites offered access to tens of thousands of on-demand films and TV shows.

The operation was led by Mark Gould, 36, who eventually pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He is now the subject of a second unrelated criminal investigation.

William Brown, 33, was the only defendant to plead not guilty, as he claimed to have been an undercover informant working for law enforcement. He was unanimously found guilty by a jury back in February.

Christopher Felvus, 36, was also convicted of several offences unrelated to illegal streaming after the investigation and prosecution by the Premier League, such as the possession of indecent child imagery.

After the verdict, the Premier League's General Counsel Kevin Plumb said: “Today’s sentencing is the result of a long and complex prosecution of a highly sophisticated operation.

"This prosecution is another concrete example of the clear links between piracy and wider criminality, a warning we repeatedly make. While most Premier League fans enjoy watching our games in a safe way, those who were customers of these services were effectively supporting individuals involved in other sinister and dangerous organised crime.

“The Premier League's substantial financial contribution to the entire football pyramid is made possible through the ability to sell our broadcast rights. We are pleased that through rulings such as this, the courts continue to show that they recognise the importance of safeguarding the Premier League's rights.

"We will continue to protect our rights and our fans by investigating and prosecuting illegal operators at all levels.”