Four Members of Alleged Internet Music Piracy Group Charged With Copyright Infringement...

Wed Sep 9, 2009 6:27pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Four Members of Alleged Internet Music Piracy Group Charged With Copyright
Infringement Conspiracy

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four individuals were indicted
today by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia with
conspiracy to commit copyright infringement for allegedly obtaining and
illegally releasing copyrighted music, announced Assistant Attorney General of
the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern
District of Virginia Dana J. Boente.

Adil R. Cassim, 29, of Granada Hills, Calif.; Bennie Glover, 35, of Shelby,
N.C.; Matthew D. Chow, 28, of Missouri City, Texas; and Edward L. Mohan, II,
46, of Baltimore, were charged in the one-count indictment with being
high-level members of the music piracy group known as "Rabid Neurosis" or
"RNS," which operated from at least 1999 to 2007.  According to the
indictment, the defendants, led by Cassim for a period of time, allegedly
conspired to illegally upload to RNS thousands of copyright-protected music
files, which were often subsequently reproduced and distributed hundreds of
thousands of times.  

According to the indictment, RNS was a "first-provider" or "release group" for
pirated music and other content to the Internet.  Once a group obtains and
prepares infringing digital copies of copyrighted works, the copies can then
be distributed in a matter of hours to secure computer servers throughout the
world.  According to the indictment, RNS members were granted access to
massive libraries of pirated music, video games, software and movies by
gaining a reputation for providing previously unavailable pirated materials. 
The indictment alleges that the supply of pre-release music was often provided
by music industry insiders, such as employees of compact disc (CD)
manufacturing plants, radio stations and retailers, who typically receive
advance copies of music prior to its commercial release.  

The indictment also alleges that members of RNS, including Glover, illegally
procured some of the music the group illegally released before its commercial
release date from a CD manufacturing plant in North Carolina.   Other members
of RNS, including Mohan and Chow, allegedly purchased CDs from retail stores
shortly after their commercial release and posted them to the Internet before
other piracy groups were able to do so.

If convicted, defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a
$250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, as well as possible
orders of restitution.  

In addition to the four defendants charged in the indictment, two additional
individuals allegedly involved with the group were each charged by criminal
information with one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement:
Patrick L. Saunders, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged on Aug. 14, 2009; and
James A. Dockery, 39, of Mooresboro, N.C., was charged Sept. 8, 2009. 
Saunders pleaded guilty on Sept. 8, 2009, before U.S. District Court Judge
Gerald B. Lee in the Eastern District of Virginia and is scheduled to be
sentenced on Dec. 4, 2009, at 9:00 a.m.   

The case is part of a multi-year federal investigation of organized piracy
groups responsible for the illegal distribution of significant amounts of
copyrighted movies, software, games and music through the Internet.  The
investigation of music piracy groups was led by agents from the FBI's
Washington Field Office-Northern Virginia Resident Agency.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay V. Prabhu of the
Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Tyler G. Newby of the Criminal
Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

An indictment is merely a formal charge by the grand jury.  Each defendant is
presumed innocent of such charges unless and until proven guilty in federal

SOURCE  U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, +1-202-514-2008,
+1-202-514-1888 (TDD)
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