Eight Defendants Charged with Running Two of the Largest Illegal Streaming Services in U.S.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging eight Las Vegas residents with conspiring to violate federal criminal copyright law by running two of the largest unauthorized streaming services in the United States, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars by television program and motion picture copyright owners.
According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly ran an entity called Jetflicks, an online, subscription-based service headquartered in Las Vegas that permitted users to stream and, at times, download copyrighted TV programs without the permission of the relevant copyright owners.
The defendants reproduced tens of thousands of copyrighted TV episodes without authorization, and distributed the infringing programs to tens of thousands of paid subscribers located throughout the United States. At one point, Jetflicks claimed to have more than 183,200 different TV episodes. One of the defendants, Polo, left Jetflicks and created a competing site based in Las Vegas called iStreamItAll (ISIA) that at one point claimed to have 115,849 different television episodes and 10,511 individual movies. Like Jetflicks, ISIA offered content for a regular subscription fee to viewers around the United States, and ISIA publicly asserted that it had more content than Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime. The two services were not only available to subscribers over the internet but specifically designed to work on many different types of devices, platforms, and software including numerous varieties of computer operating systems, smartphones, tablets, smart televisions, video game consoles, digital media players, set-top boxes and web browsers.
According to the indictment, Jetflicks allegedly obtained infringing TV programs from pirate websites around the world—including some of the globe’s biggest torrent and Usenet sites specializing in infringing content such as The Pirate Bay, RARBG and Torrentz—using various automated computer scripts, often providing episodes to subscribers the day after the shows originally aired on TV. Specifically, the defendants allegedly used sophisticated computer code to scour global pirate sites for new illegal content to download, process and store the shows, and then make those episodes available on servers in the United States and Canada to Jetflicks subscribers for streaming and/or downloading.
The defendants are: Kristopher Lee Dallmann, 36; Darryl Julius Polo, aka “djppimp”, 36; Douglas M. Courson, 59; Felipe Garcia, 37; Jared Edward Jaurequi aka “Jared Edwards”, 38; Peter H. Huber, 61; Yoany Vaillant, aka “Yoany Vaillant Fajardo”, 38; and Luis Angel Villarino, 40.
According to the indictment, Polo was allegedly part of the computer programming team that built Jetflicks but later left and started ISIA, a competing service based in Las Vegas that offered not only television programs but movies. Polo allegedly used many of the same automated tools that Jetflicks employed to locate, download, process, and store illegal content, and then quickly make those TV programs and movies available on servers in Canada to ISIA subscribers for streaming and/or downloading. In fact, some of the movies offered by ISIA were not yet available for authorized sale, download, or viewing outside a movie theater.
All eight defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and, if convicted, they face a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The criminal copyright infringement by reproduction or distribution and criminal copyright infringement by public performance charges, with which Dallmann and Polo are charged, each carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison. The criminal copyright infringement by distributing a copyrighted work being prepared for commercial distribution offenses, with which Polo is charged, carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison. And, each of the charged money laundering offense carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander P. Berrang and Senior Counsel Matthew A. Lamberti of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-253.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.