Crook told to pay back ill-gotten gains

A crook who burned off more than 2,300 bootleg and counterfeit CDs is paying the price for his crime today.

FELIXSTOWE: A crook who burned off more than 2,300 bootleg and counterfeit CDs is paying the price for his crime today.

Adrian Thomas, of Felix Road, Felixstowe, must pay back the �12,500 he made from the proceeds of his illegal activities.

A confiscation order to repay the cash was made against the 57-year-old when he appeared before Judge Roderick Newton at Ipswich Crown Court for a proceeds of crime hearing.

Failure to come up with the cash within six months would mean a further 12 months in prison for Thomas who has already served time in jail for three offences.

Thomas pleaded guilty at the same court in September last year to theft, acquiring/possessing criminal property and converting criminal property. All the offences related to May 2007.

Thomas received sentences totalling 24 weeks in prison.

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He was arrested after taking five CDs from a store in Bury St Edmunds. Thomas had left the store without paying, but the CDs were recovered.

A search of his car and his home revealed several boxes of discs and printed artwork for CD covers.

There were more than 3,500 discs contained in the boxes and more than 800 printed CD covers. There were several copies of some albums. Many were labelled with price labels as if for sale.

Thomas' computer was also seized and it was discovered that it had been used for downloading music and artwork for CDs.

There was a list of trade fairs which dealt with record sales and a stock list of albums.

The CDs were examined by experts within the music industry. Of the total seized, 1,223 were genuine copies, 2,153 were "bootleg" copies and 173 "counterfeit" copies.

The printed artwork was linked to bootleg albums. Both are infringements of the copyrights belonging to the record companies.

The reproduction of the artwork on the discs also amounts to breach of Trademark legislation.

The wholesale value of the seized items would be in excess of �22,000.

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