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Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
01/12/2015

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Counterfeit DVD movie distributor sentenced to federal prison

HONOLULU – A New York man was sentenced Monday for his involvement in a counterfeit DVD movie ring, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Yakov Meir Chazanow, 41, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi to serve 21 months in prison for conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement, manufacturing counterfeit goods and to trafficking in goods bearing counterfeit Dolby trademarks and counterfeit labels.

According to the evidence contained in court documents and presented at Monday’s sentencing, from 2004 to 2011, Chazanow supplied over 30,000 high-quality pirated DVDs containing infringing copies of copyright-protected Asian action movies and corresponding counterfeit labels and packaging.  He then distributed them to co-conspirators, who in turn sold them to consumers in stores and online.

Charges were filed against Chazanow and his codefendants, Sharon Josef and Jeffrey Alan Stockton, in June 2013. Stockton pleaded guilty to conspiracy and two counts of trafficking in counterfeit labels in September 2013. In February of last year, Chazanow and Josef pleaded guilty to the above charges. Stockton was subsequently sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $250,000 in illegal proceeds, including more than $32,000 in U.S. currency, 29 gold bars, 62 gold coins, six palladium coins and five silver coins. Josef, who supplied pirated DVDs from 2011 to 2012, was sentenced Monday to four months in prison.

The Motion Picture Association of America; Dolby Laboratories, Inc.; and DVD Format/Logo Licensing Corporation provided assistance with the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Chief for Litigation John H. Zacharia with the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrea W. Hattan and Leslie E. Osborne, Jr. of the District of Hawaii.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/14/2015