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back to article Pirate-bothering ACS:Law lawyer goes bankrupt

Andrew Crossley, the man/lawyer behind file-sharer-botherers ACS:Law, has been declared bankrupt. Crossley's last known address according to the High Court is worth in the region of £700,000, says Zoopla - so let's hope he's kept his hands on that. London's High Court of Justice declared Crossley bankrupt on 20 May 2011. This …

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Ahhhhhhh...

Karma...

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@ None Such

Karma... The name of my next dog! :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

My karma ran over my dogma.

Yes, I'm getting it.

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FAIL

And the point of this "news" is?

don't cross freetard pikey filesharers, as you face the wrath of 4Chan...

Shouldn't El-Reg be condemming the amount of freetard piracy, rather than not even endorsing it, but seeminly goading and encouraging a fight against "the man"...

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Megaphone

@ And the point of this "news" is?

Right on! Stick it to the man!

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No

If "freetard piracy" was the main aim of the story then maybe condemning filesharers would be relevant. But it wasn't.

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FAIL

distraction technique

I don't like pikey freeloaders.

I also don't like bullying con artists. A thug in a suit is still a thug.

The two are not exclusive.

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FAIL

Eh?

More like: Don't file lawsuits on shaky legal bases where you can't even prove that the person you sued is the one who committed the offence you're referring too, and where you basically demand money with menaces (Give us £500 or we'll drag you through the courts) before people even have a change to defend themselves.

I know someone who received one of those letters and I advised them to ignore it, because there is no way the case could ever be proven and it was *incredibly* unlikely that the person accused had downloaded what they were accused of (or anyone in their household, for that matter). And yet the letters were offering an "easy-way-out" if you admitted the offence and didn't defend try it but ONLY if you paid them lots of money (some hundreds of times more than the cost of the thing they were claiming was infringed) first. If you didn't pay, they were going to take you to court and you'd have to defend or hit a default judgement, and there was no guarantee that they'd be around long enough to pay your legal fees in that case (think of the thousands of accused who now won't see a penny of their legal expenses paid because this guy went bankrupt?)

And all on the IP address scraped from a bittorrent tracker, IIRC, which is about as technically and legally reliable as a plumber's estimate.

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@ac 15:43

So it is okay to break to law to catch people who _might_ be breaking the law?

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WTF?

4chan?

So you are saying that London's High Court of Justice, the Information Commissioner's Office, the Solicitors Regulator and several judges are all members of 4chan?

And that all the threats and false/unproven accusations have nothing to do with this?

R

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Black Helicopters

MLK

Unjust laws were meant to be broken!

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RICO worthy lawsuit

AC, you're missing the point. A good bunch of these lawsuits, maybe all of them, were based on shaky "evidence", followed by a threat of "pay 500 quid or we'll bust your ass!" which reeks of mafia-like activity. Had this happened in the US, ACS:Law would have been slammed with a RICO lawsuit. Because it mostly fills the "racketeering" part of that one...

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no

I bleave it is called "know your readership"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And the point of this "news" is?

"don't cross freetard pikey filesharers, as you face the wrath of 4Chan..."

I think that statement against 4chan has given away your dentity there Crossley.

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Mushroom

No.

You miss the point; the point of this story was to wind YOU up. Nobody else, just you.

Now sod off and make me a sandwich.

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Trollface

Errrrmmmm, AC 15:43 ...

... are there many people in the travelling community that have good enough internet access to be downloading anything. Is there any evidence that any of those people were part of the ACS:Law fishing expedition? If not, your use of the perjorative "pikey" is entirely unjustified.

But then, you are just a troll, and don't know any better.

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Pirate

Jeez some people...

Good riddance, hope this Crook doesn't rear his head in another form a year or so from now with another scam. Can't believe someone on here was trying to stick up for him and 'the man' - ffs these people are bigger crooks than somebody downloading a film or mp3, they make serious money (e.g. His house Is worth £700,000) from trying to shaft the working man, all the 'pikey freetards' as you call them are doing is 'sharing' files which harms no one but greedy bastards who want to overcharge and monopolise a service or product. Stick it to the man.

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Vic
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@Mahou Saru

> So it is okay to break to law to catch people who _might_ be breaking the law?

That's your decision, nobody else's.

If you break the law, and you get caught, you are likely to face prosecution over your actions.

If you think you are justified in breaking a law to achieve some greater good, you can bring that up in court as a defence.

If the jury agrees with you, you get a "not guilty" verdict. If they don't, you might[1] be sentenced for your unlawful activity.

It really comes down to how convinced you are that your idea of "the greater good" is shared by a jury of your peers...

Vic.

[1] With the CPS, of course, anything could happen...

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Mushroom

Hi Andrew

Wondered if you'd show your mug round here.

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I for one

hope he loses the house too.

No mercy for this kind of blackmailing wotsit.

Thumbs down in the Roman Empire sense.

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i believe

"cunt" is the word you were looking for.

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Anonymous Coward

I would call him a cunt

But he has neither warmth nor depth.

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You, sir, have maligned cunts

To equate a cunt to a lawyer is libelous and an affront to upstanding cunts everywhere. I, sir, demand a full and unconditional apology.

Yours sincerely

A. Cunt

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Meh...

I'm glad he's been bankrupted, but angered by the fact his £200,000 fine was reduced to a pathetic £1,000. I find that almost insulting to be honest...

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Trollface

hello my name is Andrew Crosley

I buried the money in the PARK, will be digging it up in a 1 year, bye!

PS. the money is buried in the park, where I buried it

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whut news??

wanker gets cumuppance.

theres no story here.

read and enjoy tho :-D

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Devil

My heart bleeds.... meh!

Couldn't happened to a nicer guy - hmm, could do with an icon depicting a hangman's scaffold here... ah well, the Satan one will have to do instead.

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Anonymous Coward

Satan?

I thought it was a handbag...

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Facepalm

Satan?

I thought it was a sports car from a jaunty angle....

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WTF?

Maths

ACS:Law was fined £200,000 but it was reduced to £1,000 because it had ceased trading. Yet here we find Andrew Crossley has a house worth £700,000 and he had gone bankrupt. I would have thought he could sell the house to pay the fine and still have £500,000.

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@ Natalie

Some locales in order to provide some level of protection for the person declaring bankruptcy allow you to keep your primary home. It seems this is the case here. Now what the people should do now is file suit against him since he has already declared bankruptcy and its discharged, his home is no longer protected since he will have to cover his legal fees. Even if the person suing him loses.. if enough people attempt to sue him he will have to cover his own expenses for each and every person who does attempt.. Forcing him to sell that 700k house!

The first commenter was right... Karma....

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Limited company

If he was a limited company then they can't take his house. If he was an unlimited company then anything bar clothes and bedding is fair game.

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Unhappy

You can't keep your home if bankrupt in the UK

speaking from (unfortunately) personal experience, where I managed to avoid this fate only by finding a UK Supreme Court decision that specifically covered my situation. I was able to point that getting round the case I referred to would cost far more in legal fees than they might recover, and that they therefore should accept the settlement offer I put forward.

You may be able to keep your home by sorting out some form of repayment agreement or other maneuver, but only if the creditors believe they'll recover more money this way.

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Re: Maths

There is a good chance that he has a substantial mortgage on his £700k house. According to the land registry, he paid £710k for it on 11th May 2007.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Natalie

"Some locales in order to provide some level of protection for the person declaring bankruptcy allow you to keep your primary home."

Although this obviously works in favour of habitual scoundrels who obviously couldn't possibly part with their residence with the gold taps dispensing mineral water and its five-car garage. Meanwhile, people with more limited means are dragged over hot coals for bankruptcy which didn't involve something closely resembling extortion.

(700K? Jesus Christ! I know property was inflated in Britain but surely 700K would buy quite a decent place after the banks turned off the easy money and the prices started to move in the direction of sanity.)

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Nope...

IIRC solicitors aren't allowed to be limited companies; they can only be sole traders or partnerships.

Mike

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FAIL

Protection.

I can understand an element of protection for "primary residence". But does he need a £700,000 house?

The £700,000 house should have been seized and sold to pay the £200,000 fine. After costs he could still afford a very very very nice home.

Never forget that Crossley was a bigger pirate than anyone he accused.

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Owns?

Erm, actually he's reported to live in a house that's estimated to be worth in the region of £700k. But whether that's HIS, or the mortgage lender's, well that might make a big difference!

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Re Yep

Solicitors can now be limited companies. The law changed about 5 years ago. However, ACS:Law was not. It was a sole trader, so he is liable for every penny.

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Do solicitors have similar rules to chartered accountants?

As in if they are declared bankrupt they get booted out and cannot practice again - ever.

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Unhappy

No they don't

"discharged in one year". Next year he will be cleared of all his debts and allowed to mount exactly the same con operation if he so chooses. Or a different swindle.

As I said in another comment, that is a common technique among crooks. Mount a con operation, hide the cash where it can't be taken ("primary" house, gold and jewels for someone not legally responsible for your losses, create another company (legally independant of your person and the previous company) and give it all your money, etc... depending on the local laws there are MANY ways to hide the loot -or at least to make it legally protected).

Then file for bankruptcy, wait for one year to be discharged, retrieve cash. Repeat as often as you want until one of your victims sticks something pointy through some of your bodyparts (which rarely happens).

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite..

The sentence "This will be automatically discharged in one year" in the original article is incorrect (or incomplete) - this discharge only exists if he collaborates with the people handling the bankruptcy. If he doesn't, an application can be made to court to stop the automatic clearing.

I know this from a crook who tried to sue me maliciously, he hadn't counted on me finding out (he was aiming for a default judgement which he would then have used to harm my company). He didn't pay the fine imposed by the court, and after a good year of "I don't live in the UK" he was declared bankrupt. As he still wasn't collaborating the solicitors turned him into a pet project. Last thing I heard was that his family house was being sold to cover costs..

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Unhappy

Yeah, bankruptcy

He's sitting on a huge mountain of cash, I would guess. Bankruptcy is a well-known business model for crooks of all sorts. Mount your con operation, hide the loot, file for bankruptcy to avoid being sued for damage by the victims. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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Unhappy

Correct

I'll bet this is not karma as some have asserted, rather liability cleansing in the manner of a football team going into administration.

He's won, I'm afraid.

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FAIL

Do the crime avoid the fine

Let's hope he didn't keep the £700,000 house, but no doubt that's been secured.

Was the point of fining him £200,000 then reducing it to £1000 and he is discharged in a year.just to prove justice was not done?

Further proof that the scum always rises to the top.

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Mushroom

Let's hope not!

"so let's hope he's kept his hands on that"

No, I hope not. Freetards, whatever your opinion of them, are doing nothing worse than taping something off the radio. This cunt, however, is using the law/establishment to deliberately inflict suffering for his own ends. I'd be happy if the fucker were strung up in public as a warning to other scum of his type. Maybe he could be kept alive I suppose, just forced to wallow in shit with "Shithouse Lawyer" branded on his forehead.

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@ AC 16:04

"I'd be happy if the fucker were strung up in public as a warning to other scum of his type. "

No thanks. Bringing back the stocks should do nicely.

(If he's dead, he won't learn from his mistakes & will probably repeat them next time round.)

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

--"Freetards, whatever your opinion of them, are doing nothing worse than taping something off the radio. "

That's not *really* accurate.

What many of them are doing is

a) seriously different in quantity

b) significantly different in the quality of the content they copy

c) massively different in that they can get pretty much anything they want - taping off the radio didn't really give people the chance to record entire /albums/ - if you *really* liked someone's work, you didn't have much choice - you pretty much had to buy (or borrow) the album.

There really is a meaningful difference, and that difference isn't affected in the slightest by any amount of righteous indignation over precisely what kind of pondlife Crossley might be.

*Whatever* he'd been up to wouldn't make bulk copying and sharing of content any more legal or moral an activity, even if quite a few people would clearly like to pretend it did.

Heck, *I'd* like to pretend it did, but I know it doesn't.

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@AC 20:55

"That's not *really* accurate.

What many of them are doing is

a) seriously different in quantity

b) significantly different in the quality of the content they copy"

I worked in the music biz for years as a recording engineer. The most important thing was the master tape. You never gave it to *anyone*, only copies of reduced quality. Then with the advent of CDs they basically were selling the master copy and made a fortune as the production costs were lower than vinyl but the retail price was much higher. Suddenly it dawns on them, Oh no, we've flogged the master and anyone can copy it! Too fucking late, morons.

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