In May 2011, police in Northern Ireland reported seizing £83,000 and computer equipment following a raid in Londonderry. The operation was the culmination of an investigation carried out by the Hollywood-funded anti-piracy group Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
In February 2015, Paul Mahoney from Carnhill, Londonderry, was charged with offenses connected with operating now-defunct streaming links site FastPassTV and discussion and linking forum BedroomMedia. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and was bailed to appear at a later date.
In June, 30-year-old Mahoney changed direction, pleading guilty to all four charges against him including allowing the public to view copyrighted movies without rightsholder permission, conspiracy, and generating hundreds of thousands in illegal advertising revenue.
Mahoney was up in court again yesterday for a pre-sentence hearing and its becoming increasingly clear how much trouble he’s in.
After operating various sites for around six years, the prosecution claims that Mahoney made almost 410,000 euros ($471,500) from his endeavors, while simultaneously claiming state benefits worth around 12,000 euros ($13,800). When his house was raided, police found almost £82,400 ($129,000) in cash hidden away.
During the hearing in Derry’s crown court, prosecutor David Groome QC laid out the alleged scale of the 30-year-old’s offending while describing the financial implications as “staggering”.
Taking a single six-month period during which visitors to Mahoney’s sites viewed movies 1.1 million times illegally, Groome took the figures and ran with them, painting a somewhat scary picture for the court.
“During the six-year life of defendant’s business that…