Anti-Piracy Lawyers Sentenced to Years in Prison For Defrauding Copyright Holders

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Anti-Piracy Lawyers Sentenced to Years in Prison For Defrauding Copyright Holders


Three attorneys who specialised in anti-piracy litigation on behalf of the motion picture and Television industries have been convicted of defrauding them out of millions. The trio, from the Johan Schlüter regulation firm, were necessary to manage registration, selection and administration legal rights. But soon after siphoning off virtually $16m, a Danish court has handed down sentences totaling much more than 10 a long time.

In the early 2000s, worldwide and Danish amusement marketplace teams joined forces to tackle the growing danger of piracy affecting motion pictures, Tv reveals, songs, and very similar products.

The final result was the anti-piracy team Antipiratgruppen (now RettighedsAlliancen / Legal rights Alliance), an organization focused to tackling the challenge of unlicensed sharing.

Like all this kind of functions, Antipiratgruppen needed authorized illustration and community law company Johan Schlüter was employed for the occupation, symbolizing groups together with the MPAA.

In subsequent a long time, Johan Schlüter (which was established by a law firm of the exact identify) was involved in many anti-piracy conditions. However, anything was significantly amiss in this business that had lengthy claimed to protect the passions of its entertainment marketplace shoppers.

Following an investigation into the company’s accounts by auditing corporation Deloitte, economic irregularities amounting to tens of millions of bucks have been reported in the media in the course of 2015.

The Johan Schlüter legislation organization really should have been distributing enormous sums to movie and Tv set sector associations and their fundamental rightsholders but its 3 associates – Johan Schlüter himself, Lars Halgreen and Susanne Fryland – had been lining their personal pockets as a substitute. Large sums ended up siphoned away from their customers.

Yesterday, just after more than 20 hearings all through which the defendants managed their innocence (with Schlüter and Halgreen portray them selves as victims of Fryland’s actions), all 3 had been uncovered guilty of fraud and wrong accounting to the tune of 100 million Danish kroner (US$15.83m).

Johan Schlüter was sentenced to 4 several years in prison, Susanne Fryland was purchased to serve 5 and a 50 % decades, and Lars Halgreen was sentenced to nine months. Mainly because of his age, Schlüter’s sentence is conditional. Because of to his relatively insignificant position, so is Halgreen’s.

“The court docket has dominated that gross economic criminal offense has been fully commited. And the prison sentences choose into account the criminal offense committed,” exclusive prosecutor Malene Phase Christensen informed DR News.

The Johan Schlüter law firm went bankrupt in 2015 and, in the course of the demo, events leading up to its demise were put beneath the highlight.

It transpired that in addition to getting a spouse in the legislation company, Susanne Fryland was also a director of a subsidiary corporation which was accountable for managing registration, collection and administration rights for many movie and Tv associations.

The prosecutor introduced an electronic mail sent by Fryland to the account supervisor at the subsidiary noting that Johan Schlüter in Copenhagen was “screaming for liquidity”. When asked who was screaming, Fryland pointed the finger at Schlüter and Halgreen.

“When they appeared at liquidity in Copenhagen, did Susanne Fryland print an invoice to an association?” the prosecutor asked.

“Yes,” Fryland verified.

The trial read that this type of fraud, which includes but not minimal to issuing unwarranted invoices, had been ongoing for at least four a long time.

Schlüter, a previous director standard of IFPI, was banned from practising regulation and operating a company. His lawyer, Jakob Arrevad, claims he will go through the verdict right before deciding no matter if to file an attractiveness, DR.dk reports.

Susanne Fryland, who was not in courtroom to hear the final decision, was also banned from working towards legislation and running a organization. She straight away submitted an attractiveness, as did former associate Halgreen, who was banned from practicing legislation for two several years.

Written by David Minister

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