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01st May 2024

Football fans warned after man sentenced to prison and handed huge fine in illegal IPTV crackdown

Callum Boyle

Authorities are doing their best to crack down on the use of illegal IPTV’s

Those who use IPTV to illegally stream football and other sporting events have been warned after a man was handed a lengthy prison sentence and ordered to pay in the region of £24m in a major TV piracy case.

Bill Omar Carrasquillo – known as Omi in a Hellcat – has been jailed for five-and-a-half years in one of the biggest TV piracy cases that has ever been prosecuted by the US government.

Carrasquillo, who was sentenced on Tuesday, was also told to forfeit an estimated £24m in assets that included cars, a number of properties across the US, as well as £4.8m in cash.

U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III said: “Thirty million dollars is a lot of money [but] tangible objects aren’t everything.

“You have a large following and there may be people who think if you can get away with it, they can too.”

The YouTuber also apologised to his near 800,000 followers and the TV companies he’d cheated.

As part of the business he would sell illegally sold content hijacked from cable boxes to customers for a much lower fee than the legal method.

“I really didn’t know the significance of this crime until I was picked up [by the FBI] at my home,” he explained.

“I feel like I let everybody down.”

The UK is also witnessing a similar crackdown in the use of illegal IPTV streaming. In February, Paul Merrell was jailed for 12 months after being found guilty of selling unlawful subscriptions to watch football games online.

He was also ordered to pay back £91,243.

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