DISH: Pirate IPTV Operators Launched New Services Despite $90m Judgment
In 2018, broadcaster DISH Network sued the people behind pirate IPTV service SetTV for illegally obtaining the company’s broadcasting from its satellite service and redistributing them online.
At a Florida court, DISH and encryption partner NagraStar sued several individuals, companies and trusts collectively doing business as SetTV via the domain settvnow.com. The plaintiffs stated that the complex business structure was designed to frustrate enforcement efforts and hide profits made by SET Broadcast LLC and various individuals.
The plaintiffs alleged that the $20 per month service offered access to 500 live channels, including on-demand content and PPV broadcasts, plus pre-configured hardware devices that came pre-loaded with the SetTV application. For this they demanded millions of dollars in damages under the Federal Communications Act (FCA).
Within months, the lawsuit was over. In a final judgment, operators Nelson Johnson and Jason LaBossiere plus Set Broadcast LLC and Streaming Entertainment Technology LLC agreed to pay DISH a staggering $90,199,000 in damages for violations of the FCA.
Via a permanent injunction issued by the court in October 2018, all defendants and their cohorts were permanently enjoined from breaching DISH rights in the future, including by operating any similar services or selling devices. However, according to a lengthy submission filed with the court Monday, the defendants should be held in contempt for violating the permanent injunction.
In short, DISH believes the defendants are well and truly back in the pirate IPTV business and the company has a lot of evidence to back up its claims.
DISH Wants Court to Reinstate The Case
On June 4, 2018, the court issued a temporary restraining order against the SetTV defendants, which included measures to freeze their assets. According to DISH, that was based on the defendants’ “extensive criminal backgrounds and histories of violating court orders in other contexts.”
DISH says that LaBossiere co-owned SetTV with two other men – Sean Beaman and Stefan Gollner. In a one-year period leading up to its lawsuit, Beaman’s companies received $4.7 million from SetTV. Immediately after the DISH lawsuit was filed, an additional $800,000 was transferred in the same direction.
DISH claims that $3.4 million was transferred from accounts in violation of the court’s asset freeze but after showing a copy of a contempt motion to the defendants’ council, the defendants plus Beaman engaged in settlement discussions. That included a confidential settlement, an agreed final judgment, a permanent injunction, plus an agreement from Beaman to be bound by that injunction.
That hasn’t gone to plan. DISH says that LaBossiere, Beaman, and Gollner are behind several other new pirate IPTV services and brands including ExpediteTV, UptickTV, Mundo TV, PingTV, and Must TV, in defiance of the injunction.
Men Never Left the Pirate IPTV Business
ExpediteTV, which offered 800+ channels for around $24, was touted as the “best deal on IPTV”. DISH investigators subscribed to the service (via expeditetv.com) and carried out monitoring between January 2019 and February 2020. The broadcaster found its watermarks on content being offered by the service, plus content that had been obtained by DISH affiliate Sling TV.
Roy Clemons was an officer at the original SET TV LLC and together with brother Brent Clemons, was retained by LaBossiere, Beaman, and Gollner to process credit card payments for the SetTV service. The Clemons brothers were retained to process payments for ExpediteTV too, and were tasked to set up entities, bank accounts and merchant accounts to receive funds.
Evidence obtained by DISH from the brothers includes text messages where Beaman discusses ExpediteTV with Ken Clemons and asks for money to be transferred to a Wells Fargo bank account, established by Gollner around a month after the permanent injunction was issued. Between January and May 2019, 86 payments explicitly citing ExpediteTV were deposited to a total of more than $1 million.
DISH alleges that LaBossiere, Beaman, and Gollner also sold ExpediteTV subscriptions that were later identified on credit card records as ‘UptickTV’, another IPTV selling entity with a domain owned by Beaman under a fictitious business name registered to LaBossiere’s address in Largo, Florida.
DISH Obtains Evidence From Jailhouse Phone Recordings
In May 2021, DISH obtained evidence from the business chat service Avochato showing that LaBossiere, Beaman, and Gollner used it to sell and market ExpediteTV subscriptions to customers who were then serviced via the same platform. The Avochato account was created by Beaman and his credit cards and Gollner’s bank account were associated with it.
In the same month, DISH obtain telephone recordings from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office that show an apparently incarcerated LaBossiere discussing the ExpediteTV service and legal action by DISH with Beaman and Osivette Brito. Brito is described as a reseller of SetTV subscriptions and the developer of the ExpediteTV software.
LaBossiere reportedly made 850 telephone calls in April and May 2021, including 68 calls to Beaman and 81 calls to Brito. One call took place two days after DISH contacted LaBossiere’s counsel regarding the ExpediteTV service and according to DISH, that news had reached the defendants.
“Brito informed LaBossiere that Brent Clemons ‘open[ed] his mouth,’ that DISH was enforcing the SetTV judgment, and advised LaBossiere to speak with his counsel because ‘[t]hey know Sean. They know you. They know everything’,” DISH informs the court.
Yet More Pirate IPTV Services
According to DISH, other IPTV brands (including Mundo TV) that retransmit DISH and Sling TV content are also related to the same men.
It appears that DISH may have been alerted to these services after receiving an unsolicited email to an address it used when it made test purchases for ExpediteTV. DISH went ahead and bought the Mundo TV package on offer and the card was processed by a company with connections to LaBossiere, Beaman, and Gollner.
At some point, when trying to renew a subscription to another service called PingTV (located at uptickrenew.com, also associated with LaBossiere, Beaman, and Gollner), DISH was directed to Must TV and its payment was processed by Mundo TV. This leads DISH to the conclusion that all of these additional services are hidden behind diverse branding to hide the illicit activities of LaBossiere, Beaman, and Gollner.
Violation of Injunction is Contempt of Court
In summary, DISH argues that the court’s permanent injunction is “clear, definite, unambiguous, and not susceptible to any interpretation” that would explain why LaBossiere, Beaman, and Gollner failed to comply with the order. They all received actual notice of the injunction and agreed to its terms yet have “repeatedly thumbed their noses at the legal process” and shown “absolute disrespect” to the court.
As a result, DISH is demanding the imposition of a $1,000 coercive daily sanction after a finding of contempt plus attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by DISH in bringing its motion.
The related court documents can be found here and here
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