Five years ago, several people connected to the video streaming and download site NinjaVideo were indicted by the U.S. Government on copyright infringement and conspiracy charges.
The landmark case resulted in several convictions, including a 22 month prison sentence for one the site’s founders, the outspoken Hana Beshara.
The convictions date back several years ago. Beshara, who received the longest sentence, served her time and was released last summer. However, that doesn’t mean that the case is closed.
One of the indicted NinjaVideo members, Zoi Mertzanis from Greece, is still at large. Mertzanis, AKA “Tik,” was allegedly one of the most active uploaders on the site.
“Mertzanis supervised most of the European-based uploaders, including directing uploaders to locate specific infringing copyrighted content for the NinjaVideo.net website,” the DoJ wrote in the indictment.
However, despite several successful convictions and plea agreements, the Greek resident still hasn’t been caught.
As a result, the now 40-year-old woman is currently featured on Interpol’s “wanted” list. Interpol issued a so-called “red notice” for the former Ninjavideo uploader, indicating that she’s wanted for extradition.
According to our knowledge, Mertzanis is the only person associated with a streaming or download site listed on Interpol’s website.
TorrentFreak spoke to someone close to the Ninjavideo case who informed us that Mertzanis’ fugitive status has negative consequences for the convicted co-conspirators who already served their time. Because the case remains open, they are still waiting for the return of several personal items that were seized.
The Ninjavideo case has been one of the most prominent successes of the U.S. Government’s “Operation in Our Sites” campaign. If Mertzanis is caught and extradited, she is facing a prison sentence of at least several months, based on the previous convictions.
The harshest sentence was handed to NinjaVideo founder Hana Beshara, 22 months in prison and a payment of $210,000 in damages to the MPAA. Fellow admin Matthew Smith received 14 months in prison and was ordered to pay back just over $172,000.
Ninjavideo uploader Joshua Evans received 6 months in prison and $26,660 in restitution. Justin Dedemko was not listed as part of the NinjaVideo conspiracy, but was sentenced to 3 months in prison and ordered to repay the MPAA $58,004.