Fraudster sold cheap TV deals

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard Gavin Gray's customers enjoyed cheap satellite TV deals.
Hamilton Sheriff Court heard Gavin Gray's customers enjoyed cheap satellite TV deals.

A hi tech fraudster made £120,000 by selling illicit satellite television packages on the internet.

Operating from the bedroom of his Mossend home, Gavin Gray was potentially costing broadcast giant Sky £1.2 million a year with his cheap deals.

Now he faces a jail sentence and losing his ill-gotten gains under a Proceeds of Crime Action.

Gray (25), of Asquith Place, Mossend, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court today and admitted charges of fraud and breach of copyright.

The scam ran from January 2010 for more than four years. His home was raided by investigators in July 2014.

The court heard Gray, who works as a landscaper, provided his customers with codes which allowed them access to satellite television including Sky Sports.

Callum Forsyth, prosecuting, said the full Sky package costs £57 per month, but through a website Gray was offering rates of just £5 for 30 days and £30 per year.

An investigator from the Federation Against Copyright Theft posed as a customer and contacted Gray’s website in May 2014. He was given a password and user name along with instructions on how to log into a server.

Mr Forsyth told the court: “He was able to view content including Sky Sports and made payment through a PayPal account used by the accused.”

Mr Forsyth said £44,260 was seized from a safe at Gray’s home. The accused admitted having 1800 customers paying £5 per month and it was found that £120,434 had been paid into his PayPay account over a two-year period.

During an internet chat he boasted of potentially costing Sky £208,000 a month in lost business.

Defence agent Elspeth Forrest said Gray had “dealt with the matter responsibly with an early guilty plea”.

Sheriff Thomas Millar deferred sentence until March and continued bail.