Bowie Man, Olayinka Wahab Sentenced to 12 Months and One Day In Federal Prison for Selling More Than $300,000 Worth of Counterfeit DVDs
Copyrighted Works Included Popular Movies, TV Shows, and Fitness Programs
Greenbelt, MD (STL.News) U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Olayinka Wahab, age 45, of Bowie, Maryland, on March 24, 2020 to 12 months and one day in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for copyright infringement in connection with his sale of counterfeit DVDs containing copyrighted works, including popular movies, television shows, and fitness programs. Judge Xinis has also ordered Wahab to pay $241,370.58 in forfeiture and $165,961.53 in restitution to the victims of his copyright infringement.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore.
According to his plea agreement, between March 2009 and May 2018, Wahab sold approximately 18,306 DVDs or DVD sets, with a total retail value of $315,761.44. Wahab knowingly sold counterfeit DVDs containing copyrighted works belonging to ABC Studios/Disney, Anchor Bay Entertainment; Disney; Fox; HBO Home Entertainment; Lionsgate; MGM; Netflix; Paramount; Sony; Universal; Warner Brothers; and BeachBody, LLC.
In 2017, representatives from the Motion Picture Association (MPA) identified a seller on an Internet marketplace selling fraudulent DVDs at a discounted rate. MPA purchased an item and analyzed the DVD upon receipt. Although the packaging was nearly indistinguishable fro m legitimate copies, the product was fraudulent. Records obtained from the Internet marketplace revealed the seller had made over 10,000 sales of DVD or Blu-Ray discs of popular movies, television shows, or fitness programs between August 2016 and April 2018.
Undercover law enforcement officers subsequently conducted purchases from the seller, including DVD titles of “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Walking Dead,”,“The Fate of the Furious,” “Finding Dory,” and among other popular titles. T he DVDs purchased by the undercover officers were provided to MPA representatives for authentication and were determined to be counterfeit. Law enforcement determined that Wahab was the individual purchasing the counterfeit items from China and reselling the fraudulent items in the United States.
During the nine years when Wahab was engaged in the sale of counterfeit DVDs, he made approximately $241,370.58 from these sales. As gross proceeds from Wahab’s criminal activity, Judge Xinis ordered forfeiture in this amount. Separately, the Court also ordered restitution in the amount of $165,961.53 in order to compensate the copyright holder victims whose copyright infringed titles the Defendant was selling online.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended HSI for its work in the investigation and thanked the MPA for its substantial assistance in this matter. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rajeev R. Raghavan and Thomas M. Sullivan, who prosecuted the case.