The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) – set up to combat the threat of organised crime across the seven police forces in the Eastern Region of the United Kingdom – has secured the repayment of more than £13,000 (€14,926) from a convicted trader, after he had evaded payment for over two years.
William Marston, formerly of Knowsley Road, Norwich, who traded as Billie the Bookie, was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment in May 2018 for selling unauthorised TV decoders, in contravention of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, having previously been handed a 12-month suspended sentence for the same crime in 2016, after a private prosecution.
He had been ordered to pay back £12,042 in 2016 but failed to hand over any cash. In August 2017, ERSOU’s Asset Confiscation Enforcement (ACE) team was called in to assist and recovered the outstanding debt on Friday November 9th, plus interest of £1,504, after securing his share in a property.
“This confiscation order sends a clear message that anyone benefiting from their criminal actions will have those assets stripped from them, as crime will not pay,” declared Nick Bentley, Financial Investigation Manager of the ACE team. “Through good partnership working between the ACE team and the South-East Regional Confiscation Unit we have recovered assets from another person who has profited from unlawful activity.”
“Following on from a sentence of imprisonment in May 2018, William Marston now has to pay back money that he made from his criminal enterprise,” advised Kieron Sharp, CEO of UK intellectual property protection organisation Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), “Others taking part in illegal streaming and other related criminality should be aware that the penalties for offending encompass the seizing of criminal profits as well as any sentence for the original offence. I would like to thank the officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit for pursuing Marston’s criminal assets using proceeds of crime legislation.”