LAWFUEL – The US Law Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced today that RAFAEL
GONZALEZ was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge
JED S. RAKOFF to 42 months’ imprisonment for his role in a
conspiracy to distribute millions of counterfeit copies of motion
pictures. GONZALEZ, of Richmond Hill, Queens, was originally
charged in a criminal Complaint, along with 20 other defendants,
with the creation and distribution of millions of counterfeit
copies of motion pictures in circulation around the world.
GONZALEZ pleaded guilty, on February 22, 2007, to a two-count
felony Information charging: (1) conspiracy to commit copyright
infringement and to traffic in counterfeit labels, and (2) to
substantive trafficking in counterfeit labels.
According to the
Complaint, the Information, and statements made during GONZALEZ’s
guilty plea in Manhattan federal court:
GONZALEZ operated a printing factory in the New York
City area for the primary purpose of designing and printing
packaging paper that utilized the official images and artwork of
copyrighted motion pictures. The paper printed by GONZALEZ’s
factory was used to package millions of pirated copies of motion
pictures sold in DVD format. The packaging paper was sold to
co-conspirators (known within the counterfeiting industry as
“Wholesalers”) who also purchased master copies (known as
“Masters”) of the counterfeit motion pictures from other
co-conspirators (known as “Cammers”). The Cammers used video
recording devices such as camcorders or videocameras to film
unauthorized copies of motion pictures while those motion
pictures were exhibited in movie theaters located primarily in
New York City and nearby areas.
Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.