Jury Convicts Member of Counterfeit DVD and CD Trafficking Group
WASHINGTON – Charles Ndhlovu was convicted today for his participation 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.
A federal jury in the Northern District of Georgia convicted Ndhlovu of one count of trafficking in counterfeit labels and three counts of criminal copyright infringement. Ndhlovu and his co-defendants were originally indicted in May 2009. Ndhlovu was charged with additional counts in a superseding indictment returned by a grand jury on May 20, 2011.
The jury returned its verdict today after three days of trial and six hours of deliberation. The evidence at trial established that other defendants named in the May 2009 indictment rented space at a warehouse on Metropolitan Parkway in Atlanta, where they “burned,” or copied DVDs and CDs and produced counterfeit labels and packaging. According to the evidence at trial, Ndhlovu purchased labels and blank digital media for use in manufacturing the infringing DVD and CD copies of copyrighted material and distributing them to retail outlets. The entire criminal enterprise was responsible for the distribution of illegal products that, if legitimate, would have been valued at more than $12 million.
The charges each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison. In addition, the defendant faces a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
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 (CCIPS). The case was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security, together with the Atlanta Police Department Organized Crime Unit, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, College Park Police Department, and East Point Police Department, with assistance from the Recording Industry Association of America.