S.F. man sentenced to federal prison for nationwide counterfeit DVD operation 

click to enlarge Pedestrians walk past a pirated DVD copy of "The Da Vinci Code", on sale at a street stall in Beijing. - AP PHOTO/GREG BAKER
  • AP Photo/Greg Baker
  • Pedestrians walk past a pirated DVD copy of "The Da Vinci Code", on sale at a street stall in Beijing.

The warnings against pirating films are a common sight to any movie goer, but that didn’t stop one San Francisco man from pirating movies and distributing them nationwide.

Christopher Breejen, 43, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $100,000 Tuesday by a federal judge for importing counterfeit DVDs from Asia before selling them across the country, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Breejen was convicted of criminal copyright infringement in September 2014 for his illegal operation, which he appeared to run from his home in The City. Between 2011 and August 2014, Breejen sold about 20,000 counterfeit discs over eBay.

He pled guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement and admitted to his sales over eBay, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Before his conviction, Breejen was notified on 16 occasions that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency had seized shipments of counterfeit DVDs sent to him in San Francisco from Asia.

But he continued to operate, until agents from Homeland Security showed up at his doorstep in The City and executed a search warrant. Inside they found more counterfeit DVDs, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The investigation into Breejen’s operation began with a tip from the Motion Picture Association of America.

He was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Beth L. Freeman to pay $117,439.50 in restitution and to three years of supervised release after his sentence, which he will begin Aug. 8.

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