Today's Top Stories
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Bootleg Crook's £564,000 Seized
Crook who ripped off Robbie Williams, Oasis and the Rolling Stones has dirty money fortune seized
A Scots music man who faces losing the £1million fortune he made from bootleg CDs of concerts by Robbie Williams, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones.
Peter Cruickshank, 46, has run stalls at record fairs across Britain and Ireland for 10 years.
He protests his trade is only a hobby and appears to live modestly in his mother's house. But he owns an MG sports car and other vehicles and is building a villa in Marbella.
He was caught in December 2003 with £30,000 of bootleg CDs in a van at Stranraer's ferry terminal.
His haul included live recordings of Led Zeppelin, Abba, Aerosmith, Beach Boys, David Gray, Elvis, Eagles, Iron Maiden, Manic Street Preachers, Pink Floyd, Robbie Williams, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Bon Jovi, Eminem, Oasis, Paul Weller and Queen.
Now Cruickshank has had the proceeds from his trade - worth £564,000 - frozen by the Crown Office.
The music industry loses £165million a year from piracy and bootlegging.
A British Phonographic Institute spokesman said: "These lost sales amount to the combined legal sales of the top 13 best-selling albums in the UK last year."
Bootleg CDs of Oasis' performance at the Brits in January appeared on eBay within an hour.
Last night Cruickshank, who lives in his mum's house in Bearsden, Glasgow, claimed he had quit.
He said: "They have frozen everything, including the van and car.
"Most of my money is from legitimate sources such as selling back catalogues and deletions.
"Only about 20 per cent of it was from bootlegging. But I did not keep accounts for six years or pay tax and the authorities would rather chaseme than real criminals.
"I am only breaking copyright regulations but record companies are spending millions of pounds to try to catch people like me."
The former bus company worker claims he made most of his money when he invested his redundancy payout in 1990 by buying the entire stock of a London record company.
He said: "I bought bootleg CDs in bulk from Italy. I don't make them myself. We've tried to reach a settlement on what I owe but the Crown want everything." The Crown Office confirmed they are seeking a confiscation order.
In 1998 police raided Cruickshank's home and took 50,000 pirate CDs and cassettes, worth £500,000. But he was not prosecuted.
In 2000 Cruickshank was caught selling 2000 CDs on a stall at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre and fined £600.
Last week he was given a year's deferred sentence for selling illegal recordings after pleading guilty at Stranraer Sheriff Court.
It follows years of investigation by police, trading standards officers and the British Phonographic Institute. A BPI investigator said: "These guys are making more money than major drug dealers."
Top 5 bootlegs:
1. THE BEATLES: Anthology Plus - recordings of studio sessions for the BBC in the mid-1960s.
2. LED ZEPPELIN: Rare Zep concerts can cost hundreds but most sought after are BBC sessions.
3. BOB DYLAN: The most prized bootleg is a 1966 recording, Live At The Royal Albert Hall.
4. THE ROLLING STONES: A 1969 tape, Stoned In The Park, of a Hyde Park concert in London, when Mick Jagger paid tribute to drowning victim Brian Jones fetches big money.
5. PRINCE: A studio recording, The Black Album, planned as a follow up to Sign Of The Times was huge on the blackmarket before being officially released in 1994.
The confiscation order means Peter Cruickshank could lose all his assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act:
Two white Transit vans £50,000
One MG sports car £20,000
Holiday home in Marbella £220,000
Shares, bank accounts, investments and personal possessions £276,000
He also faces a £500,000 bill from the Customs and Inland Revenue to cover years of unpaid tax.
source: Glasgow Sunday Mail
For Breaking News visit our flagship site Live4ever Media
Make sure to join the world's largest Oasis Community
Pretty Green - mens clothing from Liam Gallagher
Visit our extensive news archives on the left sidebar for more!