Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Sentencing of Two Men for Music Piracy
LOS ANGELES -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that two Los Angeles residents have each been sentenced to 300 days in county jail and 3 years probation for selling counterfeit CDs containing popular music.
Juan Lucas Camacho, 39, and Jose Pablo Almaraz, 38, each pled guilty to one felony count of failure to disclose the origin of a recording that they offered for sale. Camacho had been convicted in 2008 for a similar crime. They were sentenced on May 21 in Los Angeles Superior Court.
“Copyright theft like this infringes upon the rights of writers, musicians, and producers,” said Attorney General Harris. “California’s eCrime Unit is dedicated to prosecuting cases involving the trafficking of intellectual property, whether online or on the street.”
The charges are based on the sale of 800 counterfeit CDs to undercover Department of Justice agents on April 17, 2012 in the parking lot of a Los Angeles Home Depot store for $480, or approximately $.60 per CD. Artists whose counterfeit CDs were sold included Jorge Santa Cruz and Pitbull. Camacho claimed the ability to fabricate 80,000 to 100,000 CDs per week and that 800 CDs was too small of a sale to repeat.
In April, the defendants were arrested and charged with five felony counts, including conspiracy and counterfeit of a registered trademark. Upon admitting guilt, the remaining counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Camacho was given credit for 36 days already served, and Almaraz for 19 days served.
This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Department of Justice’s eCrime Unit, which identifies and prosecutes crimes involving technology and identity theft.
Photos of the pirated CDs are attached to the electronic version of this release at http://oag.ca.gov/