back to article Partially blind albino porn pirate nabbed for £300k bedroom streaming site

A Londonderry man has been handed a four-year sentence – of which half will be spent in custody – as a result of an online piracy operation he ran from his bedroom at his parents' house between 2008 and 2013. Paul Mahoney, 29, of Carnhill, made almost £300,000 in advertising revenue, which was generated across a series of …

  1. O RLY

    If he's hiding the money in cash and in his own bank account, what are the money laundering charges for? Did he try to mask the funds' provenance in some way not listed in the article? If not, I'm not sure I understand the charges.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also, £280k is somewhat over the permitted savings limit for Jobseeker's Allowance, but he did not get prosecuted for benefit fraud.

      It could all just be police/CPS incompetence of course.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if each of the persons viewing a film... £120 m of losses

    ah, that old Microsoft chestnut... Fortunately it came from the prosecutor, so nothing to do with reality.

  3. Haku

    £120 million re-adjusted down to a mere £12 million in losses?

    Ahh that'll be the Copyright Math™, explained in The $8 Billion iPod TED Talk

    1. Graham Marsden
      Holmes

      Re: £120 million re-adjusted down to a mere £12 million in losses?

      And probably the actual loss was really £12...!

      1. JustWondering
        Happy

        Re: £120 million re-adjusted down to a mere £12 million in losses?

        Pay for porn? What's that all about?

  4. knarf

    His failure was not being an MP

    They can get away with anything here in blighty

  5. ItsNotMe
    Devil

    " He suffered from congential albinism which left him "partially sighted",..."

    Well...I guess that's another thing that apparently will make you go blind.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: " He suffered from congential albinism which left him "partially sighted",..."

      When I read the title I did wonder what exactly "albino porn" was...

      1. Steve Foster
        Devil

        Re: "...exactly what albino porn was..."

        The very definition of a niche market?

        (although apparently there's enough call for it to be segmented further by body-part fetishes, in this case "partially blind").

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: " He suffered from congential albinism which left him "partially sighted",..."

      Well send him back to Albania then.

      1. Mike Moyle

        Re: " He suffered from congential albinism which left him "partially sighted",..."

        Do your National Front/UKIP types suffer from "congenital Albionism"?

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: " He suffered from congential albinism which left him "partially sighted",..."

        Well send him back to Albania then.

        Shouldn't that be "Albinia"?

      3. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: " He suffered from congential albinism which left him "partially sighted",..."

        "Well send him back to Albania then."

        He's already living in Albion.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Definitely should be dinged for the unemployment benefit and infringement. What's interesting is concern for employees and tight margins. It'd be interesting to see what he could do above board except that the two virtues aren't "in business."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    And not one mention of the word "theft".

    I applaud you El Reg!

  8. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Meanwhile...

    ...Stab someone and you may walk away with a suspended sentence rather than a custodial one...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile...

      Yo! LC! You're sounding a bit reactionary there, and that's my lawn.

    2. jaime

      Re: Meanwhile...

      Yeah but as the judge admitted they were making an example out of him to deter other pirates!

      " there is no alternative but that this court impose immediate sentences of imprisonment so as to show that behaviour of this nature does not go unpunished"

      He should've used some of that money he stashed away on a good lawyer!

      1. g e

        Re: Meanwhile...

        Which by definition would surely be a disproportionate sentence?

        Presumably that's OK though if the Law is doing it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The cost of the investigation, trial, prosecution and incarceration of this individual is yet another subsidy by the tax payer to the copyright cartels who should have brought this matter through the civil courts.

    Benefit fraud is another issue and he deserves time for that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Benefit fraud is another issue and he deserves time for that.

      Arguably the extent of benefit fraud (£1.6bn) shows that porridge is no deterrent. On the other hand, if the authorities sent somebody round to kick people's front doors in, smash their possessions, give 'em a few modest bruises, and shit on their beds, I suspect the level of fraud would go down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        On the other hand, if the authorities sent somebody round to kick people's front doors in, smash their possessions, give 'em a few modest bruises, and shit on their beds, I suspect the level of fraud would go down

        Like Gene Hunt perhaps?

    2. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Down

      @6x7=42

      I was going to upvote you right until I read your last paragraph.

      Despite what you might read in the Daily Mail et al, Benefit Fraud accounts for just 0.7% of the total welfare spending in this country and is actually *lower* than the amount that would be paid if everyone claimed everything they were entitled to.

      Meanwhile, of course, big business is getting away with *massive* tax avoidance thanks to their mates in government and we're *all* getting screwed by that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @6x7=42

        Graham, there are some folks out there who really are looking for a job while relying on benefits and finding it hard; it's taking the cash off them too.

        No argument from me on tax dodging, I'm on PAYE so have no choice but to get screwed every month.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: @6x7=42

          it's taking the cash off them too

          I strongly doubt that our lords and masters would increase the dole if fewer people were on it. On the other hand, people who don't look for jobs but instead sit in their bedrooms and run criminal porn empires are not competing with those honestly looking for work. In fact, the criminal porn empire king seems to have been creating jobs...

          It's a strange world.

      2. Ilmarinen
        Happy

        Re: @6x7=42

        @ Graham Marsden "getting away with *massive* tax avoidance"

        Avoiding tax is legal, simply doing what is allowed by law. And IMO to be encouraged as I hate to see money going to government, which will largely spaff it on stupid, useless and unwanted things.

        If you think that it is wrong or bad to avoid tax, please feel free to buy the most expensive fuel, maybe a few packs of cigs (even if you don't smoke), and don't pay into any ISAs or pension funds. These simple steps will help to maximise the taxes you pay. You'll feel good, and maybe I'll have to pay less.

        You know it makes (non)sense.

        1. Graham Marsden
          Boffin

          @Ilmarinen - Re: @6x7=42

          > Avoiding tax is legal, simply doing what is allowed by law.

          Yes, I am aware of that. And, to counter your Straw Man, I run my own business and my accountants will do whatever they can to legally reduce my tax liability. BUT when you the system is rigged such that big business doesn't just do that, but can get away with paying a *fraction* of the percentage of tax that my business does, something has gone seriously wrong.

          1. Steve Evans

            Re: @Ilmarinen - @6x7=42

            Don't blame the company, they are simply reading and obeying the rules written by HM Gov... The only reason they can avoid paying as much as you is that they are multinationals, so have a several rule books, with big holes to drive the monkey truck through. the accountants as simply doing their job.

            The whole demonising of "avoidance" by the HM Gov is laughable, they're all at it with their trust funds and country houses owned by companies (so they can pass to the kids avoiding inheritance tax), and accounts on far flung islands.

            If Cameron was really serious he'd start fixing the rule book instead of going for media sound bites, but then those in the houses of commons and Lords would feel it right in the wallet.

  10. Chairo
    Devil

    If they only had...

    ... would have caused more than £120m of losses to the film industry "if each of the persons viewing a film had watched it at the cinema or bought a DVD".

    ... or if the movie industry would have started offering legal streaming services when it became technically possible to do so, instead of trying to cling to their old and outdated distribution system and cement it with lawsuits...

  11. David Roberts Silver badge
    WTF?

    Money laundering?

    This is a strange one. From the account published here it looks like benefit fraud and tax fraud are obvious charges, unless of course his employees were in some way exempt from paying taxes and he was declaring the income and paying tax and NI.

    Does that particular charge carry more draconian penalties, perhaps, including confiscation of all proceeds wheras tax fraud involves paying back tax plus penalties?

    Also no mention of any charges against employees (presumably they didn't also work in his Mum's bedroom). Were they perhaps offshore where they couldn't be targeted?

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