Five convicted for illegal Jetflicks streaming service; leader could get 48 years in prison

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A federal jury in Las Vegas convicted five men this week for their roles in running the illegal subscription-based known as Jetflicks.  Generating millions of dollars in subscription revenue, it was one of the largest illegal streaming services in the United States.

Kristopher Dallmann and co-conspirators Douglas Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Jaurequi, and Peter Huber made millions of dollars streaming and distributing this catalog of stolen content to tens of thousands of paid subscribers., according to a statement by the US Department of Justice.

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Originating in Virginia

The original indictment against the five, plus several other individuals, was initiated in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2019. The defendants were cited to have operated Jetflicks from about 2007, to November 2017.

According to the 2019 indictment, “Jetflicks functioned as a subscription-based service akin to well-known, legitimate online video streaming and download services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Yudu, and Amazon PrimeVideo. That is, for a subscription fee as little as $9.99 permonth, Jetflicks enabled its subscribers to watch an unlimited number ofcommercial-free television programs, often within days of the episodes ‘first airings, on their internet-connected devices.

“Jetflicks sought to make its television programs available on numerous devices, platforms, and software including the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Android phone. Android tablet, Apple Safari, Google Chromecast, MicrosoftEdge, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, Microsoft XBox One, Sony PlayStation 4, Nintendo WiiU, SamsungTV, and Roku. Jetflicks, at one point in its history, claimed to offer more than 183,200 television episodes and have more than 37,000 subscribers.”

“When complaints from copyright holders and problems with payment service providers threatened to topple the illicit multimillion-dollar enterprise, the defendants tried to disguise Jetflicks as an aviation entertainment company,” said Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, David Sundberg.

One of the defendants in the Virginia indictment, Darryl Polo, left Jetflicks to start a separate illegal subscription-based streaming service called iStreamItAll, pleaded guilty in 2019. Polo was not part of the June 2024 Jetflicks decision, as he had been sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison in 2020 for IStreamItAll..

Where files came from

According to the original 2019 indictment, Jetflicks obtained the television programs from sites hosting infringing content including torrent sites and Usenetsites, using automated programs and databases such as SickRage, SickBeard, SABnzbd, and TheTVDB; which they then uploaded and hosted on Jetflicks servers.

SickRage alone offered over 40 torrent sites including some of the biggest pirate sites in the world, such as The PirateBay, RARBG, and Torrentz, and allows them to select files based on video quality.

Initial charges

On November 20, 2017, Federal agents siezed a multitude of computers, game consoles, mobile phones, hard drives, servers and consumer devices from defendant Dallman’s house in Las Vegas, which were suspected of use in the piracy operation.

The defendants were charged with “willfully, and for purposes of commercial advantage and  private financial gain, infringe copyrights by reproduction and distribution of at least ten copies of one or more copyrighted works during a 180-day period with a total retail value of more than $2,500, inviolation of Title 17, U.S.Code, Section 506(a)(1)(A), and Title 18, U.S.Code, Section 2319(b)(1).

They also were charged under provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), codified at Title17, U.S.Code, Section512, which provides, among other things, that when an online service provider receives notice from  a copyright owner or agent of the copyrigh towner regarding infringing material at  the provider, it must act expeditiously to remove that material.

Additional counts included criminal copyright infringement by public performance and aiding and abetting; criminal copyright infringement by distributing a copyrighted work being prepared for commercial distribution and aiding and abetting; and money laundering and aiding and abetting.

The case was transferred to the US District Court for the District of Nevada in February 2022, as Case 2:22-cr-00030-RFB-DJA.

Conviction and sentencing

The Nevada jury convicted Dallman, Courson, Garcia, Jaurequi, and Huber of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. The jury also convicted Dallmann of two counts of money laundering by concealment and three counts of misdemeanor criminal copyright infringement. Dallmann faces a maximum penalty of 48 years in prison, while co-conspirators Courson, Garcia, Jaurequi, and Huber each face a maximum sentence of five years. A sentencing date had not yet been set at the time the conviction was announced in June.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  The FBI Washington Field Office investigated the case, with assistance from the FBI Las Vegas Field Office.

Further reading:

Five Men Convicted for Operating Major Illegal Streaming Service. Press release. June 20, 2024. Office of Public Affairs, US Department of Justice (DOJ)

Motion Picture Association statement on conviction of Jetflicks operators.  Press release. June 21, 2024. Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)

United States v. Kristopher Lee Dallmann et al. Case summary. September 27, 2019. US Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia. US Department of Justice (DOJ)

Criminal case no. 1:19-CR-253. United States of America v. (list of defendants), filed on August 27, 2010 in US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Why it matters

“The defendants ran a platform that automated the theft of TV shows and distributed the stolen content to subscribers,” said the FBI’s David Sundberg. “Digital piracy is not a victimless crime. As these convictions demonstrate, the FBI will indeed investigate those who illegally profit from the creative works of others.”

MPA Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel Karyn Temple noted that “the tens of thousands of workers who earn a living from key industry roles, including set designers, caterers, hair and makeup artists, and camera operators, to name a few;” far beyond the interests of rights owners alone.

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