There are all sorts of incidents where agencies arrest individuals due to the fact that they are pirating movies. However, it isn’t every day that U.S. authorities also find millions of cryptocurrency and cash as a result of a movie piracy investigation. The curious part about this particular case is that Paypal helped authorities with the case, Torrent Freak reported.
The investigation was jointly conducted by both Homeland Security Investigations and the Motion Picture Association of America. It has been ongoing since 2013, after Paypal tipped off the HSI to two streaming services by the name of “Noobroom.com” and “Noobroom7.com.” The owner of both websites reportedly had a diverse cryptocurrency portfolio, including Bitcoin Core, BCHABC, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
Paypal was able to assist in the investigation because the websites generated subscription revenue through Paypal and Stripe. The MPAA later found that the website was illegally distributing work, and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Noobroom and all associated websites.
Instead of complying with the letter, Noobroom emailed its customers that it would be moving to a new domain, “Superchillin.com.” This new domain was also linked to two new movie piracy portals. Both websites were managed by an individual by the name of Talon White. White allegedly took the money from both Paypal and Stripe and transferred it to his bank accounts, and, in the process, managed to rack up millions thanks to the subscription payments. Authorities said White received over $6 million in Stripe payments during the period of October 2017 to September 2018.
Court documents showed that White was quite bullish with respect to cryptocurrency, even withdrawing “$1 million…to purchase cryptocurrency through Coinbase, a virtual currency exchange.” A total of $4 million in White’s bank accounts was seized. Interestingly, $72,000 worth of LTC, which White purchased, was not seized.
A federal high court in Oregon is already reviewing the case. A court order has directed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to hold the funds until further notice.
Date: May 16, 2019