Secret Service Eyes Calif. Pirate

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The U.S. Secret Service will participate in a continuing investigation
into a cable-set-top-piracy business raided recently by police in Glendale,
Calif.

"We're looking to go federal" with this prosecution, said Glendale Police
Det. John Genna, a member of the department's financial-crimes unit. "That will
give us a lot more options."

The police moved in on the local pirate operation March 3, acting on a tip
from a disgruntled customer.

Officers raided a local home, arresting two brothers: 18-year-old Arthur
Karanfilian and 26-year-old Vardkis Karanfilian, according to police.

Both men were released after each posted $20,000 bail. Genna said the pair
has not yet been to court.

The entire family appears to have been involved in marketing pirated hardware
nationwide, Genna said. He described the operation as a "major dealer," and
investigators found evidence indicating that the venture has been in operation
for nine years.

"They were moving a lot of money through there," he added. "We're following
the paper trail."

Investigators seized $250,000 in cash, including $100,000 hidden in a Godiva
chocolate box.

Local police and the Secret Service will execute random
search warrants on customers of the set-top operation, which sold doctored
hardware on eBay Inc. (www.ebay.com) and its
own Web sites, Genna said.

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