A man in France has been sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday, June 9, for stealing and illegally selling leaked versions of Taylor Swift‘s Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) CDs.
The album is not due to be released until July 7, after Swift announced the long-awaited project during the first night of her Nashville stops on The Eras Tour in May.
According to French outlet Alouette, the CDs were stolen from a record and vinyl pressing factory located in Le Mans, France.
The man, 43, was able to snag 10 copies of the fan-favorite Swift album re-recorded and proceeded to sell two of the discs for 25 euros apiece. The man then increased his price to 50 euros and sold four more CDs.
Alouette reported that the man has a long criminal record, including 24 past offenses for theft, drug trafficking, fraud, and more.
“I couldn’t even afford to eat lunch. My life is complicated,” the man reportedly claimed, chalking up the theft of the Speak Now CDs to financial issues in his personal life.
Another French news outlet, Pure Charts, reported that the man explained how he took advantage of a spontaneous opportunity, saying, “We were unpacking pallets. Records fell out of a box.”
The outlet also claimed that the man tried to escape arrest by climbing onto the roof of his home when police arrived. He was allegedly exposed when another employee at the record company bought a stolen CD in order to “unmask the thief.”
Reportedly, two CDs are still missing.
Now, the man will spend the next eight months behind bars for the crime after being accused of nearly causing “an industrial and commercial disaster.”
The company responsible for making the CDs on behalf of Universal Music now fears that their ties with the record label may be severed due to the man’s selfish and reckless actions.
“It’s our future that is compromised. There are jobs and millions of euros at stake,” the company apparently said, per Alouette.