Richard Humphrey, 22, of North Ridgeville, Ohio, was sentenced today in Cleveland to 29 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Lesley Wells for selling counterfeit copies of copyrighted movies through the Internet, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach for the Northern District of Ohio.
Humphrey was also sentenced to three years of supervised release following his prison term. Judge Wells ordered Humphrey to forfeit multiple computers and associated hardware used in the scheme. Humphrey pleaded guilty in Cleveland on Sept. 21, 2009, to one count of criminal copyright infringement for selling pirated movies prior to their commercial release through an Internet website.
According to court documents, from December 2006 through October 2007, Humphrey operated the subscription-based website USAWAREZ.COM from which he distributed copies of hundreds of copyrighted movies, computer games and software products without authorization from the copyright owners. Humphrey offered paid subscription services for access to the pirated materials on his website and also solicited donations for his operation of the site. FBI agents seized two personal computers and associated hardware from Humphrey while executing a search warrant at his residence. Additionally, the FBI seized Humphrey’s computer server hosted at an internet service provider that was used to host and run the USAWAREZ website.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Tyler Newby and Tara Swaminatha of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Kern for the Northern District of Ohio as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay V. Prabhu for the Eastern District of Virginia. The case was investigated by the FBI.