Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pirated 'Yentl,' fitness DVDs could send him to prison for 30 years


A suburban Philadelphia man has been charged with trafficking in thousands of counterfeit DVDs, federal prosecutors announced today.

Brian Bethman, of Lafayette Hill, allegedly smuggled nearly 10,000 pirated copies of movies and TV shows into the country. Among them were 1,500 fake Disney discs that included "Bambi" and Baby Einstein titles, 1,000 copies of the TV show “The Office,” 200 copies of “Jillian Michaels Fitness,” and 60 copies of Barbra Streisand’s "Yentl."

Prosecutors said Bethman ordered the counterfeits from China and sold them over the internet on Amazon.com and eBay.  

Agents from Homeland Security Investigations, a division of ICE, seized thousands of the discs in a raid on Bethman’s Montgomery County home in July 2011, according to court papers. The indictment, handed up May 15, was unsealed today.

Bethman is charged with smuggling goods into the United States, trafficking in counterfeit labels, and criminal copyright infringement. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in federal prison. 

Contact Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or samwood@phillynews.com. Follow @samwoodiii on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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