News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Everett Man Pleads Guilty To Criminal Copyright Infringement

Operated Website Selling Downloads of Pirated Movies, Software and TV Shows

July 18, 2012

Seattle -- An Everett, Washington man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two counts of criminal copyright infringement, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  SANG JIN KIM, 36, was indicted in December 2011.  KIM operated websites which sold pirated copies of movies, television shows, software and workout DVDs.  Some of the pirated materials were television shows illegally downloaded from Korean broadcasters.  The programs were marketed to the Korean community in the United States.  Two websites, with the domain names and and the servers that support them, were seized as part of the law enforcement effort.  The sites were operated by a company owned by KIM, World Mutimedia Group, Incorporated.  KIM is scheduled for sentencing by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones on October 12, 2012.

According to records filed in the case, a source in Seoul, Korea first alerted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that World Multimedia Group, Inc., based in Lynnwood, Washington, was illegally distributing large amounts of copyrighted material over the internet.  An investigation by HSI, involving the use of undercover officers, revealed the company and its key officers were knowingly posting movies, TV shows, videos and software for download on their websites, without obtaining the rights to any of the materials.  The websites required users to pay them a fee for the downloads, thus profiting by selling pirated material.  In interviews with undercover agents posing as interested buyers for the website, KIM said movie companies frequently contacted him about the movies on his site.  KIM said when he got these complaints he simply removed them for a period of time.  However, KIM said he would put the movies back up a few weeks later.  A review by investigators showed that some of the movies on the site were available for download while still showing in theaters and many had not been released on DVD.

“Kim and criminals like him are a direct threat to all of the hardworking people who depend on compensation from copyrighted materials to support their families,” said Brad Bench special agent in charge of HSI Seattle.  “Those involved in intellectual property theft don’t invest in product development; they don’t put a premium on product quality or safety.  All they do is get rich at someone else’s expense. HSI and the HSI-led Intellectual Property Rights Center are dedicated to pursuing criminals like this defendant whose actions amount to economic sabotage.”

Criminal Copy right infringement is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman Barbosa.  Mr. Barbosa is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) enforcement team.

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