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Pico Rivera Man Arrested in Wide-Ranging Copyright Infringement Scheme


September 23. 2021



A Pico Rivera man and two others were charged with crimes arising out of a wide-ranging and lucrative copyright infringement scheme.

Jesse Gonzales, 42, of Pico Rivera and two others operated a large-scale cable theft scheme between at least March 2016 and at least November 2019, in which they fraudulently obtained cable television accounts and then resold copyrighted content to thousands of their own subscribers. 

According to the indictment, the defendants also made fraudulent misrepresentations to banks and merchant processors in an effort to obtain merchant processing accounts. The defendants allegedly earned more than $30 million from the scheme.

“We take seriously schemes for profit that infringe upon copyrights,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The charges announced today demonstrate the department’s continuing commitment to protect copyright holders from theft.”

“All income is taxable, including income derived from illegal means,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty of the Philadelphia Field Office for IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). 

Gonzalez was arrested on Sept. 21. He is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and related offenses; one count of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; one count of reproduction of a protected work; 19 counts of public performance of a protected work; four counts of access device fraud; five counts of wire fraud; two counts of making false statements to a bank; and one count of money laundering. In total, if convicted of all counts, Gonzales faces up to 244 years’ imprisonment.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI and IRS-CI are investigating the case.


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