NinjaVideo Founder Sentenced to 14 MonthsBy: Zach Walton - January 20, 2012
The Department of Justice is on a roll – First MegaUpload, now NinjaVideo’s founder.
Of course, as you may be aware, NinjaVideo was actually taken down by the DoJ in 2010 for hosting “high-quality copies of copyright-protected movies and television programs.” The case took a turn for the worse today as a co-founder of NinjaVideo, Matthew David Howard Smith, was sentenced to 14 months in prison according to the Department of Justice.
At the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga also ordered Smith to serve two years of supervised release following his prison term, to pay $172,387 and to forfeit to the United States five financial accounts and various computer equipment involved in the crimes.
Smith was one of the founders of NinjaVideo.net, which was in operation from February 2008 until its shutdown in June 2010. Smith admitted that he made agreements with online advertising entities to generate income for the Web site. He and the other staff of the Web site collected more than $500,000 during the Web site’s two-and-a-half years of operation. Smith kept $172,387 of the money for himself.
On September 9, 2011, Smith was indicted along with four of the other top administrators of NinjaVideo. Co-defendant Hana Amal Beshara was sentenced on January 6, 2012, to 22 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $210,000 for her role as a co-founder. Two additional co-defendants are awaiting sentencing. An arrest warrant remains outstanding for the fourth indicted co-defendant, Zoi Mertzanis of Greece.
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.