Satellite Distributor Sentenced for Setting up Fraudulent Echostar Accounts

DENVER (LAWFUEL) – Joseph Masek, age 30, of Orange, California, was recently sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel to serve 33 months (over 2 years) in federal prison for wire fraud associated with the establishing of 4,294 fraudulent satellite television accounts. The defendant was also ordered to pay $663,729.28 in restitution to EchoStar (now Dish Network). He previously had paid $1,089,171.00 in restitution. Masek was ordered by Judge Daniel to report to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons by September 8, 2008.

Masek was charged by Information on June 5, 2007. He pled guilty before Judge Daniel on August 9, 2007 to one count of wire fraud. Judge Daniel sentenced Masek on August 8, 2008.

According to the stipulated facts outlined in the plea agreement, Joseph Masek was the owner of Satellites and More, a Santa Ana, California company, responsible for purchasing and installing satellite dish equipment and programming for Echostar (now Dish Network). Masek was an independent installer of Echostar, a direct television satellite service, which is an alternative to cable.

On July 15, 2005, Echostar Satellite contacted the FBI in Denver to report that they were the victim of fraudulent activity. According to Echostar, Masek created bogus accounts in order to obtain fees and commissions from Echostar. Specifically, Masek created over 4,000 customer account applications from February, 2005 through June 2005, through which approximately $2,000,000 in hardware reimbursement, reseller commissions, and other payments were made to him by Echostar.

“Pirating satellite TV may land you in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid.

“The FBI Denver Division has an excellent team of agents and analysts who worked diligently with the United States Attorney’s Office and the victim to see this case through to the end,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Masek was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Mydans.

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