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Jail sentence for piracy couple

A married couple arrested for music, film and game piracy have received jail terms of between six and 21 months. The pair, who are now separated, were convicted of copyright offences and benefit fraud. They were arrested following a search of their home in Formby near Liverpool and the discovery of counterfeit discs worth an estimated £28,000. The arrest was part of Operation Zouk, a nationwide scheme headed by the Department for Work and Pensions. During the operation, which took place in August 2004, 57 people were arrested and counterfeit discs with an estimated value of over £500,000 were seized. "Not only are consumers short-changed when they buy poor quality fake goods but legitimate retailers also lose out on business," said Andrew Naisbitt, head of Trading Standards for Sefton Council. Jail terms The couple were sentenced on Monday at Liverpool Crown Court. Andrew King was given a 18 month sentence. In addition, he will now have to serve a three month term for an earlier conviction of intellectual property theft for which he had been given a conditional discharge. His estranged wife, Angela King, received a six month sentence. According to the games industry trade body, Elspa, the couple were selling pirated games, music and film discs while also claiming benefits. "These offenders were not only riding on the back of the creative industries but also lining their pockets with taxpayers' money," said Elspa's deputy director general Michael Rawlinson.

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