WASHINGTON – Four individuals have been sentenced this week in Atlanta by U.S. District Judge William S. Duffey Jr., for their involvement in a counterfeit DVD and CD ring, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates for the Northern District of Georgia.
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.
On Dec. 10, 2009, Sankano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, to traffic in counterfeit goods and to traffic in counterfeit labels. On Sept. 24, 2010, Ahn pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact for illegally smuggling patent infringing digital media contrary to law.
On Oct. 6, 2010, a federal jury in Atlanta found Barry and Baradji guilty of one count each of criminal copyright infringement. The evidence at trial established that Baradji and Barry used space in warehouses on Metropolitan Parkway in Atlanta to “burn” or copy DVDs and CDs. According to evidence at trial, Baradji and Barry produced and paid others to produce counterfeit labels and packaging and to assemble the final product, which Baradji and Barry sold through their retail stores. According to the evidence at trial, the defendants’ warehouse operation reproduced thousands of CDs and DVDs per week for distribution. According to court records, Sankano also acquired labels, packaging and blank digital media at the warehouse for use in manufacturing infringing copies of copyrighted materials on DVDs and CDs. Ahn assisted in supplying the producers with blank DVDs and CDs that had been illegally smuggled into the United States.
The sentenced defendants were among 13 charged by a federal grand jury on May 19, 2009, in an indictment alleging various copyright, trademark and counterfeit goods offenses.
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; College Park, Ga., Police Department; and East Point, Ga., Police Department. Assistance was provided by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America.