August 18, 2000
OHIO MAN CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY DISTRIBUTING SATELLITE TELEVISION ACCESS CARDS
Emily M. Sweeney, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that a one-count information was filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio, charging Kevin Flick, age 43, of 14147 Russell Drive, Petersburgh, Ohio, with selling and distributing 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).
According to court documents, between January 1, 1998, and June 30, 1999, 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 by 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 court documents filed in this case, the average loss to Direct TV per "hacked" DSS card sold by Kevin Flick was approximately $2,000.00, resulting in total losses of approximately $250,000 to Direct TV.
The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of Title 47, United States Code, Section 605(e)(4) is 5 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Kern, following an investigation by the Youngstown, OH, and New Castle, PA, offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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