Policy

Vegas Man Forfeits Plenty Over Piracy

2/13/2004 7:37 AM Eastern

A Las Vegas man has agreed to forfeit $100,000, his sports-utility vehicle and his home and plead guilty to his participation in what authorities said was a $10 million international set-top-piracy operation.

Defendant Carlos Mireles still faces penalties of up to 53 years in prison and fines of $1.75 million, or twice the value of his piracy activities, whichever is higher, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento. Prosecutors announced the plea agreement Feb. 12.

Perhaps more important for cable investigators, Mireles has provided testimony implicating his alleged co-conspirator, Darryl Poll of Simi Valley, Calif. Both have been prosecuted before and were under injunction not to operate cable-related businesses. Prosecutors said Mireles has admitted that both men laundered money and sold doctored set-tops that enabled buyers to access all premium and pay-per-view services.

Poll pleaded innocent and is currently out on bail, according to prosecutors. He is scheduled to appear in court March 4 for a pre-trial conference. Mireles will be sentenced May 13.

The two men did business as Wholesale Electronics and Red Rock Group Ltd. Both were indicted by a Sacramento grand jury in December on multiple charges of cable theft and money laundering.

Comcast Corp. and Cablevision Systems Corp. assisted in the investigation.

October