I understand the seriousness of this for the satellite and cable companies, and the for-profit element removes most of my sympathy, but, um…
- A man who schemed to steal satellite television signals now has something much bigger than a cable bill to pay — a whopping $180 million restitution order on which he is to make $500 monthly payments.
A full payback would take 30,000 years.
Steven R. Frazier also will serve five years in federal prison on a conspiracy charge. Frazier, 28, had pleaded guilty to a scheme to manufacture and sell devices that would decrypt satellite television signals and allow people to get premium service free.
….U.S. District Judge James Moody ordered the restitution Wednesday, based on a formula of how much Frazier’s intended victims, Direct TV and Echostar, would have lost if his scheme had succeeded. The television companies estimate they could have lost $900 million in business.
“I think that’s the largest one we received,” said Larry Rissler, vice president of Direct TV’s Office of Signal Integrity. “We take this very seriously.”
Frazier of Sacramento, Calif., was arrested in Dallas in October by FBI and U.S. Customs agents while trying to board a flight to Mexico. The programming device, called the Mikobu III, which he helped design and develop, was bound for about 5,000 customers. [Orlando Sentinel]
The absurdity of this award only damages the credibility of those involved – it’s like when abuse of the corpse was part of an execution sentence.