On November 2, 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that Willie Lambert of Pittston, PA, and Sean M Lovelady of Pomona, California were sentenced to prison for their participation in an online piracy group. The group is called “IMAGiNE.”
Lambert received 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release, and he was ordered to pay $449,514 in restitution. Lovelady received 23 months in prison and three years of supervised release, and he was ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution. Each of the men pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement.
The IMAGiNE Group was a piracy ring that released copies of movies on the internet that were only in theatres.
Court documents show that Lambert and Lovelady admitted to entering movies theaters with receivers and recording equipment in order to record the audio sounds of the movies—called “capping.” After the two men received the audio content, they edited and synchronized the audio content with video that was illegally obtained as well. The edited content was then submitted to the IMAGiNE Group and shared on the file sharing network.
Two other co-defendants pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement. Jeramiah B. Perkins is scheduled for sentencing on January 3, 2013, and Gregory Cherwonik is scheduled for sentencing on November 29, 2012.
The investigation was led by the ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) through the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center located in Washington, D.C. The IPR Center is one of the most important tools used by the federal government to target and fight criminal counterfeiting and piracy. 21 different agencies participate in the IPR Center.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Krask for the Eastern District of Virginia Senior Counsel John H. Zacharia with the Justice Department are in charge of prosecution.
Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement