Man guilty of copyright theft surrenders criminal profits

Police appeal
Police appeal

A FELPHAM man who admitted possessing one of the largest ever hauls of hi-tech equipment for use in copyright theft ever found in the UK has been ordered to surrender some of his criminal profits.

Keith Tamkin, 52, of Broomcroft Road, was sentenced at Chichester Crown Court on Tuesday, December 3, to 18 months’ imprisonment.

He had previously pleaded guilty to six offences.

He admitted one offence of distributing articles infringing copyright, two of money laundering a total of £140,000, one of transferring criminal property, a computer, and two of possessing prohibited weapons – a pepper spray and a stun gun.

He was sentenced to 12 months’ immediate imprisonment for the distribution offence; eight months to run concurrently for one of the money laundering offences, another three months to run consecutively for the transfer of criminal property offence and three months, also to run concurrently, for the other money laundering offence.

He was sentenced to another three months to run consecutively for the stun gun offence and three months also to run concurrently for the pepper spray offence, taking his total to 18 months’ imprisonment.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) confiscation hearing at the same court on Monday, February 17, Tamkin

was ordered to pay £2,270.

Police and BPI investigation

Police, supported by anti-piracy investigators from BPI, the trade body for the British recorded music industry, had executed search warrants at two addresses in the town on Tuesday morning, November 15, 2011.

Tamkin was arrested at one of them, a flat over a shop in Bognor Regis High Street, and police also searched his home in Broomcroft Road, Felpham, on suspicion of conspiracy to contravene copyright laws, and money laundering offences.

At the flat the police and investigators found more than 100 full computer hard drives, an estimated 150,000 CDs and DVDs, computers and eight ‘multiple bay burning towers’ which comprise equipment to counterfeit music, films and software.

A large catalogue of 25,000 titles distributed to an extensive client base was also seized.

All the material seized took a year to examine.

A ‘significant case’

David Wood, director of anti-piracy for the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry), said: “I would like to thank Sussex Police for co-ordinating efforts to disrupt this prolific production of counterfeit music, film and game repertoire.

“This case was significant in that it was one of the largest ‘domestic factories’ uncovered to date in the UK. It had the capability of manufacturing and distributing counterfeit product on a truly commercial scale.”

Detective Constable Nigel Tillings, of the Sussex Police economic crime unit, said; “We worked closely with the BPI and were able to establish Tamkin’s full role in this case.

“We have now secured a court confiscation order against Tamkin under POCA to take back for society at least some of his criminal profits.

“Our expert financial investigators found that Tamkin had over time acquired more than £156,000 benefit but had spent most of it.”

The money goes to the central exchequer, but 50 per cent of it then comes back to law enforcement.

Of that 50 per cent, one third goes to the Crown Prosecution Service, one third to HM Courts System and one third to police to help support financial investigations.