Victims Get Restitution In Lawyer Porn Scam; The Lawyer Gets 10 Years

By on May 8, 2019

Last year a Minneapolis attorney pled guilty for his part in an ingenious scam that managed to exploit both the clout of IP law and the desire of most video porn consumers to keep their viewing habits private. Now federal prosecutors are inviting victims to claim restitution, and they won’t need to make their names public. Attorney Paul Hansmeier and two co-conspirators, initially working for porn video producers, managed to get website addresses of people who downloaded the product and then threatened them with an infringement lawsuit. They found they could increase their business by posting the videos on file-sharing sites, and later started producing their own videos. For most victims, the looming cost of a court battle plus the prospect of being exposed publically were enough to make them happy enough to settle for about $3,000. The take for Hansmeier and his two co-conspirators was said to be about $3 million. Hansmeier, named as the mastermind of the plot, will likely face at least 10 years in prison.

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Minneapolis Star Tribune

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