criminal_courtA 49-year-old St. Croix businessman faces up to five years in prison and a $500,000 fine at his sentencing for satellite piracy.

Greg Jimenez on Thursday pleaded guilty before District Court Magistrate Judge George Cannon to the single charge of unauthorized publication or use of communications, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Jimenez admitted that May 10, 2007, he sold a free-to-air receiver to a cooperating witness, and that on June 15, 2007, he loaded a pirate software onto the receiver that was able to unlawfully intercept and decode DISH Network programming.

U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe praised the investigatory work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in helping to bring Jimenez to justice. Sharpe also vowed to continue to crack down on piracy in the Virgin Islands.

“Intellectual property crime is a serious offense that harms the individual as well as the economy. Beyond the immediate financial loss suffered by victims such as the DISH Network in this case, intellectual property crimes have the associated effects of increasing costs to all consumers. Indeed, law-abiding consumers bear the burden of such crimes by paying higher prices for satellite television, DVDs and CDs. Piracy of intellectual property in all forms will be prosecuted here in the Virgin Islands,” Sharpe said in the release.

Jimenez will be sentenced on Feb. 25.

Virgin Islands Daily News