China-based DVD pirate pleads guilty in U.S.

A China-based American DVD pirate has pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court, the MPA said Monday.

Randolph Hobson Guthrie III, a U.S. citizen who had been sentenced to serve a two-and-a-half-year jail term in China for selling pirated DVDs, has pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to charges of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and agreed to forfeit US$823,833 in profits to the U.S. government, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) said in a statement Monday.

Guthrie, who had also been fined 500,000 renminbi (US$61,976) as part of his conviction by a Shanghai court, was deported to the U.S. in September after serving less than six months of his Chinese sentence.

Guthrie was convicted in April along with three others: two Chinese citizens, Wu Dong and Wu Shibiao, and an American, Cody Abram Thrush. Guthrie's accomplices were each sentenced to up to 15 months and fined between 10,000 renminbi and 30,000 renminbi. Thrush was deported from China on July 1.

The four men were arrested following joint Sino-U.S investigation that resulted in the seizure of 210,000 pirated DVDs and US$67,000 and 222,000 renminbi in cash by Chinese police.

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