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Federal jury convicts 5 men in massive illegal video streaming scheme

Five men were convicted in a federal courtroom in Las Vegas this week for running was what described as “one of the largest unauthorized streaming services in the United States,” according to a Department of Justice news release.

Starting as early as 2007, Kristopher Dallmann, Douglas Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Jaurequi and Peter Huber operated an online, subscription-based streaming service known as Jetflicks, the government said.

The service was run from Las Vegas. Customers paid $9.99 a month, less if they paid on an annual basis. Jetflicks had a customer service line, a U.S. bank account and even put out the occasional press release, according to Wired, which covers the entertainment industry.

According to the government, the men made millions using sophisticated computer scripts and software to scour pirate websites for illegal copies of television episodes, which they then downloaded and hosted on Jetflicks servers.

“The defendants operated Jetflicks, an illicit streaming service they used to distribute hundreds of thousands of stolen television episodes,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Their scheme generated millions of dollars in criminal profits, while causing copyright owners to lose out. These convictions underscore the Criminal Division’s commitment to protecting intellectual property rights by prosecuting digital piracy schemes and bringing offenders to justice.”

Jetflicks amassed video offerings “larger than the combined catalogues of Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime,” the DOJ said.

A jury convicted the five of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. The jury also convicted Dallmann of two counts of money laundering by concealment and three counts of misdemeanor criminal copyright infringement.

Courson, Garcia, Jaurequi and Huber each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Dallmann faces a maximum penalty of 48 years in prison.

A sentencing date has not been set. A District Court judge will determine the sentence after considering U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com.

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