The Crown Prosecution Service said the boxes would be sent electronic messages from a house in Littleover which would enable them to get the channels.
Anthony Ginnivan, Melvyn Howard and Jong You appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court late last week, charged with conspiring to defraud Virgin Media of TV subscription services between February 1, 2010, and February 3 this year.
Andrea Charity, prosecuting, said: “It is a complex fraud, ” adding that 44,000 of the boxes had been imported with the sole use of obtaining channels without paying.
Ginnivan and Howard were given bail with the condition not to contact their co-accused. You, who gave his address as a hotel, was refused bail and remanded in custody.
All three men will appear again at Derby Crown Court on April 28.
Malcolm Davies, Virgin Media’s head of fraud and security, said: “We take this matter extremely seriously and will continue to work closely with all the police forces throughout the UK to prosecute individuals.
“We urge anyone with information about people supplying or using illicit equipment to receive Virgin Media TV channels to call our confidential hotline on 0800 096 7800.”
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