On November 15, 2018, the main trial against five men accused of operating illegal card-sharing servers on a large scale began before the economic criminal chamber of the regional court in German town Regensburg.
The Cybercrime Bavaria department set up at the public prosecutor’s office in Bamberg already filed charges against five men in summer for a large number of cases involving the formation of a criminal organisation, commercial computer fraud, infringements of copyright law and other offences.
The accusations focus on the illegal provision of card-sharing and streaming services. The defendants are alleged to have built up an extensive technical infrastructure in order to be able to offer Sky Deutschland’s pay-TV services to their own customers for a fee via the internet.
The two main accused, a 34-year-old from Saxony and a 46-year-old Latvian, are alleged to have provided the decryption signal as part of the illegal card-sharing operation to a total of 12,889 people between December 1, 2012 and November 28, 2017 via various internet platforms.
The defendants are said to have received payments of around €1.6 million for the provision of the signal. Also accused is a 33-year-old from the district of Regensburg, who was initially a customer of the two main defendants and who is said to have later acted as a moderator to deal with customer problems and handle payments.
Two of the accused, who were all arrested on November 28, 2017, are still in custody. The further arrest warrants have meanwhile been suspended against conditions. The 46-year-old Latvian had been arrested in his home country and extradited to Germany at the end of 2017. With the exception of the 33-year-old from the Regensburg district, the accused have no criminal record.
The trial is scheduled to last 18 days. A verdict is expected for February 11, 2019.