Creator of Video Downloading Websites Sentenced to Prison in US — Over $1 Million in Cryptocurrency Seized

The U.S. has sentenced a creator of video streaming and downloading websites to prison for 12 months and one day. The feds also seized $3.9 million from him, including more than $1 million in cryptocurrency.

Man Sentenced to Jail for Copyright Infringement and Tax Evasion, His Cryptocurrency Seized

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that Talon White from Newport, Oregon, has been “sentenced to federal prison for creating illegal video streaming and downloading websites.”

The DOJ further described that the 31-year-old built the websites to “illegally distribute thousands of copyright-protected movies and television shows and evading taxes on the profits of his illicit endeavor.”

The case started when investigators received information in October 2013 regarding numerous illegal websites linked to White allowing paid subscribers to stream and download copyright-protected content. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) subsequently demanded White cease and desist his illegal activity in 2014 but he ignored the demand.

White then migrated his operations from one website to another over the next four years to avoid detection, the Justice Department noted, adding that he had amassed millions of dollars in subscription fees from his websites by 2018.

The DOJ detailed that after investigators served search and seizure warrants on his house in Newport and several bank accounts in November 2018:

Agents seized $3.9 million from his accounts, $35,000 in cash, and more than $1 million in cryptocurrency.

Furthermore, the Justice Department noted that White “filed false personal income tax returns, underreporting his income by more than $4.4 million and causing a tax loss to the IRS of more than $1.7 million.”

White was sentenced to “12 months and one day in federal prison and three years’ supervised release,” the announcement states. He was charged on Nov. 1, 2019, with copyright infringement and tax evasion; he pleaded guilty to both charges on Nov. 25, 2019.

The DOJ further detailed:

U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken ordered White to pay more than $4.3 million in restitution to the MPAA and IRS. White must also forfeit all U.S. currency and cryptocurrency seized from his bank accounts, in addition to his Newport house that was purchased with proceeds of his scheme.

Do you think White should be sent to prison and forfeit his cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.

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