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June 10, 2015San Jose, CA, United StatesIntellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

Bay Area man sentenced to 15 months in counterfeit DVD scheme

SAN JOSE, Calif. – A San Francisco man was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $117,000 in restitution for selling thousands of counterfeit TV and movie DVDs over the Internet, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Christopher Breejen, 43, who pleaded guilty in November 2014 to one count of criminal copyright infringement, admitted importing counterfeit DVDs and selling them on eBay. Between 2011 and August 2014, Breejen sold approximately 20,000 counterfeit DVDs nationwide. Many of the titles were television shows, including seasons or complete collections of “Breaking Bad,” “True Detective,” “Dexter,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” HSI’s probe into the scheme originated with a tip from the Motion Picture Association of America.

Breejen was charged Sept. 26, 2014, after officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 16 separate shipments of counterfeit DVDs sent to Breejen from Asia. In each case, Breejen was warned by CBP about the counterfeit goods in each of these shipments by CBP, but he continued to import and sell the DVDs until HSI special agents executed a search warrant at his San Francisco residence, seizing additional counterfeit DVDs.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Beth L. Freeman, who also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hanley Chew.

Brejeen will begin serving his sentence Aug. 8.