Men Behind Pirate Movie and TV Streaming Service Jetflicks Found Guilty

Men Behind Pirate Movie and TV Streaming Service Jetflicks Found Guilty

A federal jury in Las Vegas convicted five men who operated Jetflicks, a subscription TV and movie service that streamed pirated content, according to a press release Thursday from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Jetflicks offered more than 118,000 television episodes and 10,000 movies, making it larger than the combined offerings of Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and Amazon Prime.

The five men behind the site — Kristopher Dallmann, Douglas Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Jaurequi, and Peter Huber — were arrested in 2019 and found guilty this week of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Dallmann was also found guilty of two counts of money laundering by concealment and three counts of misdemeanor criminal copyright infringement, according to the DOJ.

Started in 2007, Jetflicks boasted tens of thousands of subscribers in the 2010s who were all paying $US9.99 per month for access to pirated content. The men set up automated scripts to download content from sites like Pirate Bay and Torrentz before making them available on their own servers.

The DOJ says the men attempted to disguise Jetflicks as an aviation entertainment company while saying in a statement that “digital piracy is not a victimless crime.”

“Their scheme generated millions of dollars in criminal profits while causing copyright owners to lose out,” Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said in a statement. “These convictions underscore the Criminal Division’s commitment to protecting intellectual property rights by prosecuting digital piracy schemes and bringing offenders to justice.”

Courson, Garcia, Huber, and Jaurequi each face a maximum of five years in prison, while Dallmann could see up to 48 years in prison, according to the DOJ. A date for sentencing hasn’t been determined yet.

As Variety notes an old member of the Jetflicks group, Darryl Julius Polo, left to start his own pirate streaming service called iStreamItAll, which had an even larger library and charged $US19.99 per month. Polo pleaded guilty in 2020 and was sentenced to almost five years in prison.

“As these convictions demonstrate, the FBI will indeed investigate those who illegally profit from the creative works of others,” the DOJ said.

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