Five Men Convicted of Operating Massive, Illegal Streaming Service That Allegedly Had More Content Than Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Prime Video Combined

Five men were convicted by a federal jury in Las Vegas this week for their part in operating Jetflicks, which officials say was one of the largest illegal streaming services in the U

Published Time: 21.06.2024 - 17:31:25 Modified Time: 21.06.2024 - 17:31:25

Five men were convicted by a federal jury in Las Vegas this week for their part in operating Jetflicks, which officials say was one of the largest illegal streaming services in the U.S.

Jetflicks, which charged $9.99 per month for the streaming service, generated millions of dollars in subscription revenue and caused “substantial harm to television program copyright owners,” the Justice Department said Thursday.

At one point, Jetflicks claimed to host more than 183,200 TV episodes — a lineup larger than the combined catalogs of Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon Prime Video, according to prosecutors.

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According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, beginning as early as 2007, the five men — Kristopher Dallmann, Douglas Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Jaurequi and Peter Huber — operated the Jetflicks streaming service. The group used “sophisticated computer scripts” and software to scour piracy services (including the Pirate Bay and Torrentz) for illegal copies of TV episodes, which they then downloaded and hosted on Jetflicks’ servers, according to federal prosecutors. The men were charged in 2019 with conspiring to violate federal criminal copyright law.

The jury convicted the five men of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. In addition, the jury convicted Dallmann of two counts of money laundering by concealment and three counts of misdemeanor criminal copyright infringement. Dallmann faces a maximum penalty of 48 years in prison, while Courson, Garcia, Jaurequi and Huber each face a maximum of five years in prison, according to the Justice Department. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to federal prosecutors, w -

hen complaints from copyright owners and issues with payment service providers threatened to bring down the illegal outfit, the defendants “tried to disguise Jetflicks as an aviation entertainment company.”

“The defendants operated Jetflicks, an illicit streaming service they used to distribute hundreds of thousands of stolen television episodes,” principal deputy assistant attorney general Nicole Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said in a June 20 statement. “Their scheme generated millions of dollars in criminal profits, while causing copyright owners to lose out. These convictions underscore the Criminal Division’s commitment to protecting intellectual property rights by prosecuting digital piracy schemes and bringing offenders to justice.”

According to federal prosecutors, a member of the original Jetflicks group, Darryl Julius Polo (aka “djppimp”), left to create a competing site called iStreamItAll, whose subscription plans had a monthly fee of $19.99. Like Jetflicks, iStreamItAll did not have permission to distribute the TV and movie content on the platform, officials said. In 2019, Polo pleaded guilty to criminal copyright and money laundering charges, according to the Justice Department. In 2020, he was sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $1 million in “criminal proceeds.”

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