Sudbury, Ontario, May 6, 2011… Davin Omeir, formerly of Sundridge, Ontario, pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice in Parry Sound on March 15, 2011 to two counts of income tax evasion under the Income Tax Act and to one count of fraud over $5,000, one count of money laundering and one count of possession of proceeds of crime under the Criminal Code. On April 1, 2011, in the Ontario Court of Justice in Sudbury, Justice Glaude sentenced Omeir to one year in prison for each count of tax evasion, to be served concurrently. Mr. Omeir was also sentenced to two years in prison for each count under the Criminal Code, to be served concurrently. The prison sentences for the Criminal Code counts are consecutive to the tax evasion sentence, making the total jail sentence three years. In addition to the jail sentence, the Judge levied a fine of $223,849, representing an amount equal to 100% of the total federal taxes sought to be evaded. The fine must be paid within three years.
Omeir, the sole shareholder and director of Cantopia.Com Inc., provided a tax preparer with financial information for his personal and corporate tax returns. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) investigation revealed that Omeir understated the corporation’s income by $626,331 during the taxation years 2003 to 2007 and, as a result, the corporation failed to remit $81,423 in federal taxes. In addition, Omeir appropriated funds from the corporation and did not report these funds as income on his personal income tax returns for the years 2002 to 2007. In doing so, Omeir attempted to evade personal federal taxes of $142,426.
Cantopia.Com Inc. was an internet-based business that sold equipment and services enabling persons to decode encrypted satellite television programming signals without paying a subscription fee. The CRA investigation revealed that the business activity used by Omeir to evade taxes also defrauded the lawful distributors of encrypted subscription programming signals in Canada and the United States. The scheme allowed Omeir to participate in money laundering activities in the amount of $300,000. On-line merchant accounts were used to process payments for the sale of the illegal products and services and proceeds were sent to bank accounts located in Switzerland, Malta and the Turks and Caicos. As a result of the illegal scheme, Omeir was able to use some of these funds to pay for personal living and travel expenditures, the maintenance of a home in Sundridge, the rental of a home in Mississauga, and the purchase of a home in Turks and Caicos.
The preceding information was obtained from the court records.
“Canadian taxpayers must have confidence in the fairness of the tax system,” said Vince Pranjivan, the Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency for the Ontario Region. “To maintain that confidence, the CRA is determined to hold tax evaders accountable for their actions.”
Individuals who have not filed returns for previous years, or who have not reported all of their income, can still voluntarily correct their tax affairs. They will not be penalized or prosecuted if they make a valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being initiated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) against them. These individuals may only have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest. More information on the Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) can be found on the CRA’s website at www.cra.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures.
Further information on convictions can also be found in the Media Room on the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/convictions.
California Federal Court Enters Preliminary Injunction Banning Further Sales of SV-Lan and New Link Products
On April 25, 2011 the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan of the Southern District of California issued a Preliminary Injunction Order banning further distribution of devices marketed as the “SV-Lan” and “New Link” pending final resolution of DISH Network and NagraStar’s litigation against ProSonicview and its owner Christopher Whitcomb. Whitcomb was a former employee of Sonicview USA, Inc. which has also been sued by DISH Network. In that case, Judge M. James Lorenz, also in the Southern District of California, entered a similar injunction order on March 29, 2010 enjoining sales of the Sonicview iHub, 8PSK TFEC boards and related software. The iHub was the predecessor product for both the SV-Lan and New Link, and all three devices as determined by the Courts were designed and distributed to work with Sonicview-branded receivers to engage in piracy of DISH Network programming.
On April 20, 2011, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California entered a judgment in the amount of $214,898,600.00 and permanent injunction against Viewtech, Inc. and its principal Jung Kwak. The underlying lawsuit charged both Defendants with trafficking in Viewsat-branded receivers and software to facilitate the theft of DISH Network’s subscription-based programming. In granting Plaintiffs summary judgment, the Court determined that the Viewsat receivers violated the DMCA because they were designed, marketed and used for piracy and not for any supposed free-to-air use. The court’s order, which ended a nearly four-year legal battle, represents the final blow to the Viewtech operation. In July 2009, Kwak was indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of orchestrating a conspiracy to crack the new NagraStar security technology and from that develop software that would enable Viewsat customers to gain unauthorized access to DISH programming. Early last year, the court sentenced Kwak to 18 months in federal prison. Closing down Viewtech is another major victory in DISH Network and NagraStar’s campaign to prevent satellite television piracy in North America.
NagraStar, DISH Network and EchoStar Technologies filed suit against IE Entertainment, Inc., abadss.com, Eric Johnson and Ian Jones on February 15, 2011. Today, April 12, 2011, the Honorable James S. Moody Jr. for the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida entered a preliminary injunction against IE Entertainment, Inc. and Eric Johnson enjoining them from, among other things, the operation of www.abadss.com in any manner that facilitates the piracy of DISH Network programming. The Court’s Order further requires Defendants to send all software files uploaded by members or guests to a moderation queue for review prior to release on the site. More importantly, the Order also requires Defendants to preserve all evidence related to such files including the persons posting them, for later use in the underlying litigation. Pursuant to the Court’s Order, Defendants are now cooperating with NagraStar in the collection of evidence related to the software files made available on abadss.com and a banner reflecting that arrangement is now prominently displayed on the home page and all sub domains of the site.
On April 5, 2011 the Honorable Judge Neil V. Wake for the United States District Court in Arizona entered final judgment against Maurizio Nowlin in a case brought by NagraStar, DISH Network and EchoStar Technologies (“DISH Network”). Nowlin was sued for his role in providing equipment to facilitate theft of DISH Network programming. The judgment awards $17,798,400.00 in statutory damages to DISH Network and includes a permanent injunction prohibiting Nowlin from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Under the terms of the Court’s judgment, Nowlin will be liable for an additional $110,000.00 in damages for each act of DISH Network piracy going forward. NagraStar continues to investigate and take legal action against individuals involved in all levels of piracy support from the product manufacturers to down-stream end users.