NEWS

Two Members of Film Piracy Group Sentenced

By John Wagley

Two members of an Internet piracy group have been sentenced in Virginia for illegally copying and distributing first-run films.

Willie Lambert, 57, of Pennsylvania was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and $449,514 in restitution. Sean Lovelady, 28, of California, was sentenced to 23 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and $7,500 in restitution, according to a statement by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Lambert and Lovelady were indicted with two other defendants in April for their activities as part of a group called IMAGINE. Each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement in May and June, respectively.

Both admitted to illegally recording film audio tracks in the theatre. They then used software to synch the audio with illegally obtained video tracks of the films.

The case was part of ongoing efforts by the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property (IP), which was created by Attorney General Eric Holder. The task force works to combat both domestic and international IP crimes.

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