December 14, 2004

DirectTV pirate gets 7 years and $24 million bill

by brian_turner

Martin Mullen, a Canadian who led a piracy ring that sold tens of thousands of hacked smart cards to allow free DirectTV access, was today given a 7-year sentence and orderd to pay $24 million.

Already a well known thorn in the side of the satellite industry, Martin Mullen remained outside the reaches of US justice – until a private investigator discovered documents in Mullen’s rubbish, detailing a business trip under an assumed name to Florida. Once Mullen arrived at Tampa International Airport, the tipped-off US authorities arrested him.

The sentence is considered particularly harsh, in view of DirectTVs claims of financial losses in the face of Martin Mullen’s piracy ring. However, his daughter, Nicole McKenzie, claims that he was stitched up, and that her father only pleaded guilty after coercion from US Federal Agents that they would not seek prosecution of his family.

More on that story here: DirecTV hacker sentenced to seven years

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