San Jose Resident Sentenced To 27 Months In Prison For Selling Counterfeit Movies
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Ricardo Blanco was sentenced yesterday to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $200,200 in restitution for criminal copyright infringement, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
Blanco pleaded guilty on April 30, 2012, to criminal copyright infringement, in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 2319(b)(1). According to the plea agreement, Blanco admitted that from approximately May 4, 2011, and continuing to July 14, 2011, he operated a store called “Mia’s Fashions” in San Jose. He admitted that in one area of the store he sold unauthorized copies of movies, including “Cars 2,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and “X Men.” Blanco also admitted that he manufactured thousands of unauthorized copies of movies to sell in his store and hired several individuals to make copies of the movies in a room at a residence located on South King Road in San Jose. The employees transported movies to Mia’s Fashions. One employee worked as a security guard and cashier at the store.
In addition to the prison sentence and restitution, Blanco was ordered to forfeit 20,750 counterfeit movies, $53,115.10 in cash and all of the equipment used to manufacture the unauthorized movies. The items were seized from Mia’s Fashions and a residence located on South King Road in San Jose. Restitution will be paid to the Motion Picture Association of America.
Blanco, 28, of San Jose, was charged by Information on July 15, 2011.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Davila. Judge Davila also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release. The defendant has been in custody since July 15, 2011 and will immediately begin serving the sentence.
Susan Knight is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case with the assistance of legal tech Elise Etter. The prosecution is the result of a one year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.