U.S. Department of Justice - CyberCrime.gov Archived

Copyright Cases - U.S. v. Sarna et al. (C.D. Cal.)

May 14, 2004

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Central District of California
Debra W. Yang
Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
(213) 894-6947
Contact: Elena Duarte
Assistant United States Attorney
(213) 894-8611

Six Formerly Associated with Fox Cable Charged with Copyright Infringement for Running Warez Site that had Pirated Movies, Software Six former employees and consultants of Fox Cable Networks (FCN) in West Los Angeles were charged with conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement for establishing and using a “warez” site on Fox’s computer network that contained copyrighted movies and computer software.

A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles accused the six of using computer equipment at Fox to upload, store and allow the distribution of pirated copies of software, games and commercial films.

The six charged today are:

- Kevin Sarna, 36, of Lomita, formerly an infrastructure consultant at FCN

- Jonathan O’Brien, 30, formerly of Tustin, a former network engineer at FCN

- Christopher Willis, 31, of Los Angeles, formerly a network engineer at FCN

- Lisa Yamamoto, 45, of Los Angeles, a former message system and services administrator at FCN

- Peter Mariano, 25, of Reseda, formerly a network administrator at FCN

- Garry Martin, 32, of Hawthorne, a former manager of desktop/user support at FCN

All six are charged together with a single count of conspiracy count and separately with overt acts of uploading and downloading copyrighted software and movies. The defendants will be summoned to appear in United States District Court in Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

This case began with an internal investigation by Fox, which in late 2003 found a “file transfer protocol” (FTP) server on its computer network that contained pirated material. Fox contacted the United States Secret Service at the LA Electronic Crimes Task Force for assistance, and special agents from the Secret Service and FBI investigated the case.

According to the criminal complaint, Sarna, O’Brien and Willis were the alleged leaders of a “warez” group, which is an organization that duplicates copyrighted software, including pirated computer software, console games and theatrical movies. Sarna, O’Brien and Willis allegedly operated and maintained the FTP server, which contained illegally duplicated material, such as the movies “Daddy Day Care,” “Blind Date,” “The Matrix Reloaded,” and “X-Men 2.” The FTP server allowed others to download the pirated material via the Internet.

Yamamoto, Mariano, and Martin allegedly downloaded large amounts of data from the warez server while they worked at Fox. This data included movies such as “Windtalkers,” “Jimmy Neutron,” and “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” The charge of conspiracy carries a maximum possible penalty of five years in federal prison, while each count of criminal copyright infringement carries a potential penalty of three years in prison. A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received the assistance of Fox Cable Network.

Release No. 04-072



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