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Digital Millennium Copyright Act Cases (DMCA) - U.S. v. Flick (N.D. Ohio) (Satellite TV Cards)

U.S. Department of Justice

Emily M. Sweeney
United States Attorney
Robert W. Kern
Assistant U.S. Attorney
216) 622-3836
 
 

Ohio Man Sentenced on Conviction of Illegally Distributing Satellite Television Access Cards

(November 16, 2000)



            Emily M. Sweeney, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that on Thursday, November 16, 2000, U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Gaughan sentenced Kevin Flick, age 43, of 14147 Russell Drive, Petersburgh, Ohio, to six (6) months imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, in connection with Flick's recent conviction for selling and distributing illegally modified DSS satellite access cards, in violation of Federal law.  Flick was also ordered to pay restitution to Direct TV in the amount of $250,000, and a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victims' Fund.
            
            A one-count information was filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 18, 2000, charging Kevin Flick, with selling and distributing approximately 125 electronic devices primarily used for the unauthorized decryption of direct-to-home satellite television services in violation of Title 47, United States code, Section 605(e)(4). Kevin Flick entered a guilty plea to the charge on September 5, 2000.


            According to court documents, between January 1, 1998, and June 30, 1999, Kevin Flick sold and installed DSS satellite dish systems for approximately 125 individuals in the Northern District of Ohio, and the Western District of Pennsylvania.  In connection with the installation of the DSS satellite systems,
Kevin Flick also sold and distributed to individual customers hacked DSS satellite access cards, which had been illegally altered and modified by Kevin Flick, and others, for the express purpose of illegally receiving and decrypting DSS satellite cable programming, including pay-per-view programs and premium cable channels such as HBO, Showtime and Cinemax, without paying the subscription fees normally associated with such service to providers such as Direct TV.

            According to a plea agreement reached between the government and Kevin Flick, the average loss to Direct TV per hacked DSS card sold by Flick was determined to be approximately $2,000.00, resulting in total losses of approximately $250,000 to Direct TV.
 
            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney RobertW. Kern, following an investigation by the Youngstown, OH, and New Castle, PA, offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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