Five IPTV Operators Guilty of Movie & TV Piracy, Leader Faces 48 Years in Prison

Home > Lawsuits > IPTV and Streaming >

Five men accused of operating one of the largest pirate IPTV services in the United States, have been convicted by a Las Vegas federal jury. Kristopher Dallmann, Douglas Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Jaurequi, and Peter Huber, generated millions of dollars in revenue through Jetflicks, a subscription service that reportedly offered more content than Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and Amazon Prime. Four of the men face up to five years in prison; Dallmann's maximum is 48 years.

Department of JusticeIn 2019, eight men from Las Vegas were named in a grand jury indictment alleging they conspired to violate criminal copyright law through two IPTV services, Jetflicks and iStreamitAll.

According to the indictment, the defendants reproduced tens of thousands of copyrighted television shows without authorization, and distributed the illicit content to a vast audience of paid subscribers across the United States.

The scope of their alleged infringement was substantial; Jetflicks reportedly offered access to over 183,200 distinct TV show episodes at one point. iStreamitAll allegedly provided an even more extensive library, boasting over 118,479 TV shows and 10,980 movies in its catalog, surpassing the content offered by Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime at the time.

Five Men Face Trial By Jury in Las Vegas

While some defendants pleaded guilty as far back as 2021, receiving sentences ranging from one year in prison to 57 months, five defendants went on trial before a Las Vegas jury late last month.

Just a few days into the trial, Kristopher Dallmann, the alleged leader of Jetflicks, called for a mistrial, claiming that evidence presented to the jury was both inadmissible and damaging to the defense. That failed to gain traction with the court and this week, all five men were found guilty by a federal jury.

Jury Convicts All Five Jetflicks Operators

Dallmann, Courson, Garcia, Jaurequi, and Huber, were convicted of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Dallmann was further convicted of two counts of money laundering by concealment and three counts of misdemeanor criminal copyright infringement.

Kristopher Dallmann: Guiltydallmann-guilty-jury

“Their scheme generated millions of dollars in criminal profits, while causing copyright owners to lose out,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

“These convictions underscore the Criminal Division’s commitment to protecting intellectual property rights by prosecuting digital piracy schemes and bringing offenders to justice.”

U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada noted that the defendants conspired to reproduce and distribute thousands of copyrighted television programs for their own personal gain, but not without consequences.

“This case is another example of our steadfast commitment to combat intellectual property theft and to hold accountable those who violate intellectual property rights laws,” Frierson said.

Aviation Service Ploy Failed to Convince

Commenting on the guilty verdicts, Assistant Director in Charge David Sundberg of the FBI Washington Field Office, recalled the unusual response from the operators of Jetflicks when copyright-related complaints began to threaten the business.

“When complaints from copyright holders and problems with payment service providers threatened to topple the illicit multimillion-dollar enterprise, the defendants tried to disguise Jetflicks as an aviation entertainment company,” Sunberg said.

That revelation first came to light in 2020. During questioning by the FBI, Dallmann claimed that Jetflicks MoVi Entertainment System was a service that converted customers’ personal DVD collections so they could be viewed in the air. He later conceded that aspect of the venture had been a failure, so downloading TV shows from other pirate sites and streaming them for a fee had become the main business.

A sentencing date has not yet been set but Courson, Garcia, Jaurequi, and Huber face a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Dallmann, however, is facing the possibility of considerably longer – a maximum penalty of 48 years in prison according to the Department of Justice.

The Motion Picture Association (MPA), whose members’ content accounted for much of the infringement on Jetflicks, does not appear to have issued a press release in response to the convictions. That’s quite unusual but if one does appear, we’ll update this article accordingly.

Update: MPA’s Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel, Karyn Temple, just issued the following statement on the Jetflicks verdit.

“This verdict is a landmark victory for intellectual property rights. The Motion Picture Association applauds the Department of Justice for its successful prosecution of five individuals who brazenly and illegally profited by infringing upon copyrighted works belonging to ACE.”

“The jury’s conviction underscores the criminal nature of these types of offenses and the significant harms caused to the creative industry and the tens of thousands of workers who earn a living from key industry roles, including set designers, caterers, hair and makeup artists, and camera operators, to name a few.”

“We look forward to future collaborations with the Department of Justice to ensure digital piracy operators are convicted and sentenced for their crimes and to continue sending a strong deterrence message to those who are currently engaged in copyright infringement.”

Sponsors




Popular Posts
From 2 Years ago…