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2 people charged with pirating copyrighted content in Canada following federal investigation

Two people have been charged as a result of a federal investigation into piracy of copyrighted television programming.

In June 2019, Nova Scotia RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) began an investigation into a complaint from a telecommunications company that an individual was streaming large amounts of its television programming through Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) for profit.

<who>Photo credit: 123RF

The investigation led to a search of a residence in Bedford, Ont. in August 2019, which uncovered electronic equipment and financial documents.

A 35-year old was arrested at the home, and was later released.

On August 13, 2020, the Nova Scotia RCMP FSOC filed court documents related to charges against two individuals in Bedford, and on Sept. 3, a Restraint Order and Special Search Warrant was issued.

On Sept. 9, a total of 14 properties were restrained, including two houses. 12 plots of land, and two vehicles were seized.

The Nova Scotia RCMP FSOC laid 25 copyright related charges against the individuals.

Riad Thomeh, age 36, from Bedford has been charged with:

  • Possession of a Device to Obtain Use of Telecommunication Facility or Service
  • Laundering the Proceeds of Crime
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime x18
  • Distribute Copyrighted Material – Copyright Act
  • Re-transmit Encrypted Programming Signal – Radiocommunication Act
  • Decode Encrypted Programming Signal – Radiocommunication Act

Kayla Thomeh, 33, from Bedford, has been charged with:

  • Laundering the Proceeds of Crime
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime

Three companies operated by Riad and Kayla Thomeh are also facing 44 charges, including Possession of a Device to Obtain Use of Telecommunication Facility or Service, Laundering the Proceeds of Crime and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, as well as charges under the Copyright Act and the Radiocommunication Act.
Infringement of Canada's Copyright Act is a federal offence. Maximum penalties are a five-year sentence, a $1M fine or both.



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