Feds Indict 5 Men Who Allegedly Hacked Hollywood Film Companies to Steal and Pre-Release Films, TV Shows

Individuals arrive to observe the movie “Fifty Shades of Gray” on its opening day in Los Angeles on Feb. 12, 2015. (Credit: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Photographs)

Five males in four nations have been indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday in a case alleging they distributed main films and television exhibits for profit earlier than their launch date by hacking Hollywood film corporations, officials stated.

Copies of titles including “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “The Expendables 3” and “The Walking Lifeless” have been stolen by the international piracy ring from firm pc servers, or typically obtained by means akin to surreptitiously recording cinema screenings, the U.S. Lawyer’s Office for the Central District of California stated in a news release.

Investigators stated they recovered a server in France that contained more then 25,000 stolen information, together with the function films “Godzilla,” “The right way to Practice Your Dragon 2” and “Horrible Bosses 2.”

The defendants are accused of altering the digital information so that they might be simply distributed across the web.

Along with promoting movies by way of personal online communication, the defendants also uploaded the stolen content to pirating sites. The lads then distributed income by way of a shared PayPal account, based on the indictment.

The felony conduct allegedly started in 2013 and continued until spring 2015.

In February 2015, one of the men allegedly informed a potential buyer that copies of the films “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “Fifty Shades of Grey” can be that can be purchased on the identical day they have been launched in U.S. theaters.

None of the five defendants are in U.S. custody, officers stated. They’re:

• U.Okay. resident Malik Luqman Farooq, 30. The indictment accuses him of stealing more than a dozen film over two years. He was beforehand arrested by police in London on comparable costs and is awaiting trial within the U.Okay.

• Aditya Raj, who is believed to reside in India. He’s accused of releasing pirated films on-line and arranging for several films to be recorded in theaters in India.

• Sam Nhance, who is believed to reside in Dubai. Authorities allege he procured and maintained the computer server used to store information for international distribution.

• Ghobhirajah Selvarajah, who is believed to reside in Malaysia. He was the proprietor of the PayPal account used to obtain funds and pay for the computer server, the indictment alleges.

• Jitesh Jadhav, who can also be believed to reside in India. He’s accused of using a camcorder to report movies during cinema screenings, together with “The Superb Spider-Man 2,” “X-Males: Days of Future Past” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

Officers also allege the lads previously ran an internet site referred to as BollyTNT that distributed pirated copies of Bollywood movies.

All 5 are charged with conspiracy to commit pc fraud, unauthorized access to a pc, aggravated id theft and copyright infringement.

If convicted on all counts, they might be sentenced to up to 15 years in federal prison.

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