There is “overwhelming evidence” that the Bahamas’ leading satellite TV provider defrauded DIRECTV by pirating its programming and equipment to service over 5,800 local accounts, court documents are alleging.
The largest US satellite broadcaster, in documents filed in the south Florida district earlier this month, alleged that Satellite Bahamas and its principals – Michael and Peter Garraway – had used an elaborate scheme to “illegally obtain” its TV signal.
The complaint claims that the Garraways and their business, which is based at Top-of-the-Hill on Mackey Street, employed false customer and billing addresses to conceal the fact they were offering Bahamas-based clients DIRECTV’s programming.
The US satellite TV distributor, which supplies programming to more than 20 million US residential and business customers, alleged that Satellite Bahamas’ use of its signal – which is supposed to be confined to the US only – was “unauthorised”.
And it has asked the Florida court to attach a writ to Michael Garraway’s Florida-based assets, on the grounds that he allegedly owes DIRECTV more than $224,000 for use of its equipment and unpaid account balances.
And the total damages DIRECTV is seeking, while unspecified in the court papers, are likely to be much higher.
Michael Garraway declined to comment on the DIRECTTV lawsuit, or its implications for Satellite Bahamas’ business, when contacted by Tribune Business for comment yesterday.