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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Terrytown Man, Warren Stewart, Pleads Guilty To Unauthorized Recording Of A Motion Picture And Criminal Infringement Of A Copyright

WARREN STEWART, age 37, a resident of Terrytown, Louisiana, pleaded guilty as charged today before U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. to the unauthorized recording of a motion picture and criminal infringement of a copyright, announced U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente.

According to court documents, an investigation determined that on January 27, 2013, STEWART used a digital camcorder to record the motion picture Broken City in Theater 11 of the AMC Westbank Palace 16 movie theater, located in Harvey, Louisiana, without the authorization of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).  STEWART then uploaded the copy of Broken City via the Internet to servers organized and managed by individuals who collectively sought to obtain copies of the video and audio components of motion pictures currently showing in theaters that had not yet been commercially released on DVD/Blu-ray or in any other form for sale to the general public.  Subsequently, the investigation determined that STEWART had recorded 8 other motion pictures at the AMC Westbank Palace 16 between November 21, 2012, and January 29, 2013, without authorization.  STEWART then duplicated and sold copies of these movies. 

Additionally, court documents revealed that STEWART copied and sold copyrighted musical works and motion pictures without the authorization of the copyright holders, the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) and the MPAA, respectively.  After extensive surveillance, on March 6, 2012, agents executed a search warrant at STEWART’S residence, during which time they seized approximately 9,063 pirated DVDs containing copyrighted motion pictures and 3,241 pirated CDs containing copyrighted musicwhich STEWART held out for sale.

STEWART faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 8 years, followed by up to 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.  Sentencing has been scheduled for December­­ 11, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.

The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.

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