Gregory A. White, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that a federal grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio, returned a three-count indictment charging Abubacri So, age 34, whose last known address was 929 Maud Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, with two counts of Criminal Infringement of Copyrights and one count of Trafficking in Counterfeit Labels Affixed to Unauthorized Copies of Copyrighted Works.
Count 1 of the indictment charges that between on or about February 1, 2005, and on or about May 9, 2005, Abubacri So, did willfully and for the purpose of private financial gain, infringe the copyright of one or more copyrighted works, that is, copyrighted motion picture DVDs, by reproducing and distributing during a 180-day period, unauthorized copies of ten or more copyrighted works having a retail value of $2,500.00 or more, in violation of Title 17, U.S.C., Section 506(a) and Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2319(b)(1).
Count 2 charges that during the same time period, Abubacri So willfully and for the purpose of private financial gain, infringed the copyright of one of more copyrighted works, that is, copyrighted audio CD recordings, by reproducing and distributing during a 180-day period, unauthorized copies of ten or more copyrighted works with a retail value of $2,500.00 or more, in violation of Title 17, U.S.C., Section 506(a) and Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2319(b)(1).
Count 3 of the indictment charges that during the same time period, Abubacri So also knowingly trafficked in counterfeit affixed or designed to be affixed to unauthorized and counterfeit copies of copyrighted motion picture DVDs and copyrighted audio CD recordings, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2318.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of various items used by Abubacri So in connection with the offenses and seized by the FBI on May 9, 2005, including 3 Acard Technologies 8-disk DVD reproduction units, a Gateway computer, a Hewlett Packard printer/scanner/copier, a DSL modem, a portable DVD player, 6,697 counterfeit DVD movies and 5,259 counterfeit audio CD recordings, assorted blank DVD and CD disks, and assorted counterfeit labels for DVD movies and CD audio recordings.
According to U.S. District Court records, in March 2005, a confidential source working under the direction of special agents from the Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation made several purchases of counterfeit DVD movies from Abubacri So. Specifically, on March 9, 2005, the FBI's source purchased 800 counterfeit DVD movies from Abubacri So for $2,000.00, and on March 15, 2005, the FBI's source purchased 1,000 counterfeit DVD movies and 200 counterfeit audio CD recordings from Abubacri So for $2,450.00.
According to Court records, Abubacri So was arrested by Special Agents of the FBI on May 9, 2005, pursuant to a criminal complaint. Abubacri So was ordered held without bond following a detention hearing on May 16, 2005, before the Honorable William H. Baughman, Jr., U.S. Magistrate Judge. Search warrants executed on May 9, 2005, at 929 Maud Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, and at a storage unit leased by Abubacri So located on South Marginal Road in Cleveland, Ohio, resulted in the seizure of the counterfeit DVD movies, the counterfeit audio CD recordings, and the computer equipment listed above.
If convicted, the defendant's sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant's prior criminal record, if any, the defendant's role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Kern, Computer Crimes Coordinator for the Cleveland United States Attorney's Office, following an investigation by the Cybercrimes Squad of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Field Office.
An indictment 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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