Sunday, May 4, 2008

Illinois Man Involved In Online Piracy Ring Is Sentenced

SCOTT CARRERA, 33, of Darien, Illinois, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to three years of probation, the first six months of which CARRERA must spend in home confinement. Judge Chatigny also ordered CARRERA to pay a fine in the amount of $7500 and to perform 120 hours of community service. On May 7, 2007, CARRERA pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. This matter stems from a multinational software piracy investigation known as "Operation Higher Education."

In pleading guilty, CARRERA admitted that, for more than two years, he was a participant in the "warez scene," an underground online community consisting of individuals and organized groups who engage in the large scale reproduction, modification and distribution of copyrighted software over the Internet. CARRERA served as a site administrator for a warez site known as "HOP" and assisted in the administration of a second warez server identified as "TOP." CARRERA assisted in the construction and maintenance of the "HOP" warez server, which contained a library of copyright-protected software, including movies, music, games and business software. As the site administrator, CARRERA allowed others to have access to the "HOP" server with the knowledge that they would upload new material to the server and download material for their own use. The "HOP" server contained more than 5000 pirated works, and CARRERA has admitted that he uploaded more than 180 and downloaded more than 2600 copyright-protected software titles.

"Operation Higher Education" is the largest component of the global law enforcement action known as "Operation Fastlink," announced by the Department of Justice on April 22, 2004. Twelve nations participated in "Operation Higher Education." The investigation yielded searches and seizures of more 70 high-level targets that were conducted in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the United States, as well as Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward Chang and Matthew Bassiur from the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice.

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