NinjaVideo leader pleads guilty to copyright charges
A co-founder of the NinjaVideo website that offered illegal downloads of movies and television shows pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement.
Hana Beshara, 29, of Las Vegas, faces up to five years in prison on each count, the US Justice Department said in a statement. Sentencing was set for January 6.
Beshara was one of the founders of NinjaVideo.net, which was launched in February 2008 and shut down by US law enforcement authorities in June 2010.
According to court documents, Beshara was NinjaVideo's administrator and negotiated agreements with online advertisers, collecting $500,000 during the website's two and a half years of operation.
Fellow NinjaVideo co-founder Matthew Smith, 23, of Raleigh, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to criminal copyright violations in Virginia federal court last week. He is to be sentenced on December 16.
Many of the movies offered by NinjaVideo were still playing in theaters and others had not yet been released publicly at the time, according to prosecutors.
Beshara and Smith were indicted on September 9 along with three others: Joshua David Evans, 34, of Washington state; Jeremy Lynn Andrew, 33, of Oregon; and Zoi Mertzanis, 36, of Greece.
Evans, Mertzanis and Andrew are scheduled to go on trial in February.
(c) 2011 AFP