MINEOLA, N.Y. – District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced charges against a man who sold hundreds of pirated DVDs from his Manhasset home and from websites offering copies of Hollywood hits.
Ali Breland, 41, of Manhasset, was arrested on Jan. 29, 2014 and charged with one count of Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree (an E felony), one count of Trademark Counterfeiting in the 2nd Degree (an E felony), and one count of Failure to Disclose the Origin of a Recording in the 1st Degree (an E felony). Breland was issued a desk appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in District Court in Hempstead on Feb. 11. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison.
“When people illegally sell and distribute these commercial films, they are taking money out of the hands of hard-working men and women employed by the entertainment industry – of which an increasing number live and work in New York,” DA Rice said. “My office will continue to prosecute these cases to ensure that the money earned by these films is not diverted to criminals working for their own financial gain.”
DA Rice said undercover investigators from the Motion Picture Association of America, in partnership with DA investigators, had made several purchases from Breland of hundreds of counterfeit DVDs beginning in September 2013.
All of these purchases took place outside Breland’s Manhasset home. Once received, the DVDs were found to be counterfeit.
DA investigators executed a court-ordered search warrant of Breland’s home finding evidence of packaging of pirated DVDs, instruments used to make the illegal video recordings, blank video disks, as well as computers used to sell counterfeit DVDs over the Internet.
Among the illegally obtained DVDs listed for sale on Breland’s website were Oscar-nominated films such as “12 Years a Slave,” “Gravity,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” – all of which are currently playing in movie theaters. Breland also offered first-run movies, television series, and other recordings for sale on Craigslist and his own webpage: http://moviescheapforthepoor.weebly.com.
Assistant District Attorney Whitney Matthews of DA Rice’s Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Breland is currently unrepresented by counsel.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.