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Man Fined for Stealing Secrets From DirecTV

September 09, 2003|Karen Robinson-Jacobs | Times Staff Writer

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Monday sentenced a 19-year-old Hollywood man to five years of probation, including six months of home detention, for stealing and posting on the Web documents that might have allowed consumers to pirate broadcasts from DirecTV Inc.

Igor Serebryany, a computer sciences major at the University of Chicago, also was ordered to pay $146,085 in restitution to El Segundo-based DirecTV, the nation's largest satellite-TV provider, and the Los Angeles law firm where he obtained the documents, said Jim Spertus, an assistant U.S. attorney.

Serebryany pleaded guilty in April to one felony count of theft of trade secrets and faced a maximum of 10 years in prison. He'll serve detention in Chicago.

Serebryany was arrested in January and indicted on three felony counts of theft of trade secrets.

He was the first person in Los Angeles to be charged and convicted under the U.S. Economic Espionage Act of 1996.

His lawyer Nina Marino said Serebryany was "very much relieved" that the sentence included no jail time.

Serebryany's uncle worked for a copying service that was hired by a legal firm, and according to court papers, Serebryany stole information related to "smart cards," which provide access to DirecTV programming.

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