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O.J. Simpson Is Ordered to Pay DirecTV in Signal-Theft Case

July 27, 2005|Sallie Hofmeister | Times Staff Writer

DirecTV said "the evidence was overwhelming" against O.J. Simpson.

But the ex-football star's lawyer said he did nothing wrong.

The satellite TV giant on Tuesday was referring to its civil court victory in which a Florida judge ordered Simpson to pay $25,000 for allegedly stealing its signals.

The case stems from the recovery in 2001 of two "bootloaders" in Simpson's home that allowed viewers to tap into DirecTV signals without paying for them.

"This ruling serves as a reminder that there are consequences to signal theft, whether you're O.J. Simpson or John Q. Public," said Dan Fawcett, the company's executive vice president of legal and business affairs.

Simpson's lawyer, Yale Galanter, said his client would appeal the judge's ruling.

"There is no evidence that he knew or should have known" that the devices in his home were illegal, he said.

"He was not living in the house at the time," Galanter said.

Simpson is the most famous name among the thousands of alleged manufacturers, distributors and users of counterfeit equipment that El Segundo-based DirecTV has sued in an effort to crack down on signal piracy, which has cost the company billions of dollars.

Simpson moved to Florida from California after a civil court jury ordered him to pay $33.5 million stemming from the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in Brentwood. Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in 1995.

According to news reports in 2001, federal agents were at Simpson's home on a six-hour raid related to an investigation of an Ecstasy drug ring, money laundering and the counterfeiting of satellite equipment. Simpson was not arrested.

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