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It’s Finally Over: Mastermind Behind Prenda Law Porn Trolls Pleads Guilty

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It’s Finally Over: Mastermind Behind Prenda Law Porn Trolls Pleads Guilty

Postby sunnyd » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:18 am

Story :

One of the attorneys behind the Prenda Law "copyright trolling" scheme has pleaded guilty to federal charges of fraud and money laundering.

After years of denial, John Steele admitted Monday that he and co-defendant Paul Hansmeier made more than $6 million by threatening Internet users with copyright lawsuits.

It's perfectly legal to sue Internet pirates - but not the way Steele did it. Steele and Hansmeier set up "sham entities" to get copyrights to pornographic movies, "some of which they filmed themselves," according to the Department of Justice's statement on the plea. Steele and Hansmeier then uploaded those movies to file-sharing websites such as The Pirate Bay and then sued the people who downloaded the content.

Steele and Hansmeier hid their role in making the porn and hid the fact that they had a personal stake in the outcome of the litigation. They subpoenaed Internet service providers to get subscriber information and then sent letters and made phone calls to the victims, threatening them with "enormous financial penalties and public embarrassment unless they agreed to pay a $3,000 settlement fee."

Finally, an admission of guilt, long overdue! It will be interesting to see what the sentence outcome will be.

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