June 2, 2000
TWO CALIFORNIANS ARRESTED BY FBI FOR COUNTERFEITING HIGH-SECURITY COMPUTER CHIPS USED IN ARCADE VIDEO GAMES
Two individuals, one from Northern California and one from Southern California, have been arrested on copyright infringement charges for allegedly copying software and high-security computer chips used in arcade-style video games, United States Attorney Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced today.
Michael Harry Antaramian, 52, of Sacramento, and Farid Hariri, 47, of Glendale, were arrested Thursday by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The pair was indicted on May 24 by a federal grand jury, which charged them with conspiracy and two counts of criminal infringement of copyright.
According to the indictment, Antaramian copied computer chips and software used in the arcade video games "NFL Blitz 2000" and "Golden Tee Golf 99." These video games use sophisticated computer technology to prevent the unauthorized copying of the software used to operate the games. Antaramian allegedly developed a method of circumventing the security technology, which allowed him to copy the chips and software. After the illegal copying, Antaramian would supply the software to Hariri, who would then sell it to others.
Antaramian was at his home in Sacramento Thursday morning and made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon in United States District Court in Sacramento. A United States Magistrate Judge in Sacramento ordered Antaramian released on his own recognizance and directed the defendant to appear in federal court in Los Angeles on June 8.
Hariri was arrested at his home in Glendale Thursday morning. He made his initial appearance Thursday afternoon, at which time he was released after posting a $25,000 bond.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
If they are convicted of the three criminal counts in the indictment, both Antaramian and Hariri each faces up to 15 years in federal prison and fines of up to $750,000. Additionally, Antarmaian was named in a forfeiture count which will compel him, if he is convicted, to turn over materials related to the copyright infringement scheme.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Computer Crime Squad of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Los Angeles.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Manuel A. Abascal
Release No. 00-104
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