A federal grand jury in Virginia indicted eight men Tuesday on charges of conspiring to violate federal criminal copyright law by running an illegal streaming service that cost television and film copyright owners millions of dollars.
The suspects operated Jetflicks, a Las Vegas-based subscription service that allowed users to download hundreds of thousands of programs without permission for a monthly fee, the Justice Department said in a statement.
The eight defendants have been identified as Kristopher Lee Dallmann, 36; Darryl Julius Polo, 36; Douglas M. Courson, 59; Felipe Garcia, 37; Jared Edward Jaurequi, 38; Peter H. Huber, 61; Yoany Vaillant, 38; and Luis Angel Villarino, 40. Each is charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Dallman and Polo additionally were charged with two counts of criminal copyright infringement by public performance, four counts of money laundering and two counts of criminal copyright infringement by reproduction or distribution.
"The defendants allegedly used sophisticated computer code to scour global pirate sites for new illegal content to download, process and store the shows, and then make those episodes available on servers in the United States and Canada to Jetflicks subscribers for streaming and/or downloading," the DOJ said.
None of the defendants were in custody, prosecutors said. The Washington Post reported the case is connected to the Eastern District of Virginia because several of the users who paid for the services lived in the area.
Polo left the Jetflicks programming team to start his own illegal competing service called iStreamItAll, investigators said. The service claimed to offer more than 115,000 TV episodes and more content than Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, prosecutors said.
They added that both services were available on various platforms, including video game consoles and smart TVs.
Jetflicks claimed to offer more than 183,000 episodes of TV content.