WASHINGTON – Ibrahim Diallo, 27, of Atlanta, was sentenced to 38 months in prison today by U.S. District Judge William S. Duffey Jr., in Atlanta for his involvement in a counterfeit DVD and CD ring, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates for the Northern District of Georgia. Diallo was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $3,867 in restitution, jointly and severally with his co-defendants.
“Mr. Diallo and his co-conspirators trafficked in counterfeit CDs and DVDs that would have been worth millions of dollars on the open market, to the detriment of artists, retailers, producers and others,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “The Justice Department has never been more committed than it is today to investigating and prosecuting these crimes, and this case exemplifies our determination to make sure that counterfeiters and other intellectual property criminals are appropriately punished.”
“The victims in this case are the thousands of Americans who earn their livelihoods from the legitimate creation and performance of popular music and movies,” said U.S. Attorney Quillian Yates. “This group of defendants stole from them by mass-producing counterfeit music CDs and DVD movies in a pirating operation that may have been the largest of its kind in the Southeastern United States.”
Diallo pleaded guilty on Sept. 1, 2009, to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, to traffic in counterfeit goods and to traffic in counterfeit labels. At the plea hearing, Diallo admitted that he sold pirated CDs and DVDs along with counterfeit labels and packaging. Diallo admitted to selling, and conspiring to sell, thousands of pirated CDs and DVDs per week.
Diallo was one of 13 individuals charged in a May 19, 2009, indictment alleging various copyright, trademark and counterfeit goods offenses. In February 2011, four of Diallo’s co-conspirators were sentenced for their involvement in the piracy ring. Mamadou Sadio Barry, 40, was sentenced to 60 months in prison; Moussa Baradji, 29, was sentenced to 50 months in prison; Sedikey Sankano, 42, was sentenced to 24 months in prison; and Won Ahn, 69, was placed on probation for one year. Barry, Baradji and Sankano also were ordered to serve three years of supervised release following their prison terms. Barry and Baradji were ordered to pay $70,894 in restitution and Sankano was ordered to pay $3,867 in restitution. The court found that these defendants were responsible for distributing illegal copies of products that, if legitimate, would have been valued at more than $2 million.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Pearce in the Northern District of Georgia and Senior Counsel John H. Zacharia of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, together with officers of the Atlanta Police Department Organized Crime Unit; the College Park, Ga., Police Department; and the East Point, Ga ., Police Department. Assistance was provided by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America.
The sentence announced today is an example of efforts being undertaken by the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property (IP Task Force). Attorney General Eric Holder created the IP Task Force to combat the growing number of domestic and international intellectual property crimes, protect the health and safety of American consumers, and safeguard the nation’s economic security against those who seek to profit illegally from American creativity, innovation and hard work. The IP Task Force seeks to strengthen intellectual property rights protection through heightened criminal and civil enforcement, greater coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and increased focus on international enforcement efforts, including reinforcing relationships with key foreign partners and U.S. industry leaders. To learn more about the IP Task Force, go to www.justice.gov/dag/iptaskforce .