IPTV Pirate ‘Nitro TV’ Fails to Pay Lawyer, ACE and MPA Move in to Kill Him *TorrentFreak
Running a pirate IPTV service can be extremely profitable. One need only look at the extraordinary wealth accumulated by Bill Omar Carrasquillo, aka Omi in a Hellcat, to see that tens of millions of dollars can be generated by a successful operation.
However, clinging to this wealth is another matter.
After being raided in 2019, Carrasquillo not only faces losing every penny he earned, but also the prospect of a significant custodial sentence. How long is currently unknown. The details of his guilty plea are currently under seal but at least in financial terms, the prospects for other IPTV operators could be even greater.
Nitro TV attacked on two fronts
Pirate IPTV service Nitro TV is currently facing two massive lawsuits. One, filed in August 2021 by DISH Network, Sling and NagraStar, may be close to completion. Although the plaintiffs are only seeking a fraction of the damages available to them under the law, the Nitro operators still face a potential $100 million judgment.
The second, filed by members of the Alliance for Creativity in April 2020, appears to be heading for an even worse outcome for defendants Alejandro “Alex” Galindo, Anna Galindo, Martha Galindo, Osvaldo Galindo, Richard Horsten, Raul Orellana ( better known as YouTuber ‘Touchtone’) and business entity Firestream LLC.
Only Alejandro Galindo tried to defend
Faced with massive copyright infringement allegations involving movies and TV shows including The Office, SpiderMan: Homecoming, Toy Story 3, Star Trek Beyond, Homecoming, and Joker, Nitro shut down after receiving a injunction.
Only Alejandro Galindo appeared to defend against claims of direct and contributory infringement of 1,897 copyrighted works, for which plaintiffs seek $150,000 in maximum damages. for each work. Allegations of misuse of discovery and the production of unanswered documents followed.
As a result, the plaintiffs (including Universal, Paramount, Columbia, Disney and Amazon) have been told by the court that it will be imposing sanctions, but according to a recently filed joint case management statement, this has yet to be done. made. Nevertheless, the quagmire only seems to be deepening.
After hiring an experienced attorney, Galindo argued the Fifth Amendment which, along with other strategies, were quickly opposed by plaintiffs.
“Defendant asserted his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. Plaintiff did not pursue this case in a timely manner, and the case continues to drag on without any further progress.
“The case must be dismissed for lack of timely prosecution”, now inform the studios in court, noting that the court clerk has already served notice on all defendants.
The movie and TV companies say they are waiting for the court to issue findings on their motion for sanctions before seeking default judgment against all of the defendants. Meanwhile, Alejandro Galindo – the only person to defend – now finds himself without a lawyer.
Nitro Boss Hired A Lawyer, Didn’t Pay Him
From the outset, Galindo was represented in the lawsuit by attorney Steven Vondran, who specializes in intellectual property issues, as evidenced by his informative YouTube channel. Vondran is also active in other cases involving suspected pirates, so it was a good option if Galindo and Nitro were at least trying to manage their losses. This option now seems to be well and truly off the table.
“I have been the case attorney for the defendant Alejandro Galindo since the beginning of this case. A written mandate has been signed between the parties requesting that certain costs be paid in a timely manner,” Vondran now informs in court.
“At this time, the costs have not been paid as agreed, furthermore, despite several requests, no communication or other response has been received from the defendant and he has simply been silent.”
As a result, Vondran now needs court permission to withdraw from the trial.
The attorney says there is good cause to show there was a “complete breakdown” of the attorney-client relationship. Galindo no longer communicates and has not provided his lawyer with the necessary instructions to represent him. Plus, there’s “plenty” of time to get a new lawyer – if you’re willing to hire one, of course.
Can Galindo afford to pay?
What funds remain after Nitro’s closure remains a question, but according to film and television studios, Nitro and its partners have certainly received a lot of money.
Third-party subpoenas revealed that more than $7 million in Nitro TV subscription sales and reseller credits were made through accounts held in Martha Galindo’s name. The accused Firestream LLC, allegedly operated by Veronica Orellana, wife of Raul Orellana (Touchtone), received over half a million dollars to market Nitro online.
However, even if every penny has been strewn somewhere, it is unlikely to make even a small dent when the lawsuit inevitably results in a default judgment. It remains to be seen whether the plaintiffs will ultimately seek maximum damages and have the court approve that amount for the 1,897 works, but if so, there is a risk of judgment in excess of $250 million.
This is in addition to the $100 million demanded in the DISH Network lawsuit.
Supporting documents are available here and here (pdf)