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Raid casualty comes forward to tell his story

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#241 buttface96


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Posted 17 August 2007 - 05:20 AM

FallsInc, Appleguru, and all affacted by the raids; I cannot imagine the frustration you are experiencing by this event. I've worked with Appleguru ever since I joined the scene back in 04, and he has always been a tremendous help and honest seller, its tough seeing people whom have helped you in a skill, like a teacher to be tossed around and embarrassed. I hope all works out well for all of you


#242 busteduser


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Posted 17 August 2007 - 07:52 AM

I started off w/ a lengthy account of getting busted, but lost all the content some way through. I suppose I'll save it for a book or something anyhow. Having been busted, and just completed my sentence and finalized paperwork, I can provide some decent advice, and relate similar events.

1) As some have stated, bringing attention to yourself is bad. It is natural due to the absurdity of the punishment for the crime. Your desire to reach out to others as a warning is an admirable trait that demonstrates you care about your fellow man. Unfortunately it doesn't help. It could be construed as obstruction of justice and tampering with an ongoing investigation. If you're going to reach out, it has to be full fledged and hope the media can paint you as a martyr. Otherwise, everything you say here is damaging. If there is *anything* they can find illegal in the materials they confiscated, skip the martyr approach and STFU.

2) A good lawyer goes a long way. This case proves that money talks so fight fire with fire. Do the best you can do within reason.

3) You will never get your seized hardware back. I'm sure some of it will end up in some agent's home too. When they took my computers, they also stole my UPSs, monitors, printers, switches, network cables, keyboards, mice, mouse pads, speakers, and I feel like I'm forgetting some things. The final documentation mentioned nothing more than the computers.

4) You stated you're not charged with anything (yet). My case took 1 year before I ever got offered a plea, and that was only after it was expedited b/c a new D.A. w/ a reputation of being tough on "cyber-terrorism" was replacing the existing one. That waiting period was worse than any punishment I endured as it was mental hell.

5) Arguing this case would be difficult, expensive, and probably not yield results better than a plea. If there was anything illegal (other than the modchips) then you probably cant win fighting it. If/when you get a plea, examine it thoroughly for errors. Specifically with regards to timelines. I analyzed mine 100 times before agreeing, and didnt catch many of the errors until years later, as I was happy to see some of what wasn't in there. For example, one clause stated that "In a period of 180 days" I had done something. However, I had only committed my 'crime' for 60 days at best. The one thing I did catch and disagree with was that it said I made 'private financial gain.' I never made a dime and in fact lost a lot of money. When I requested this be removed, they said that the existence of a ratio system (ftp site) was a currency. However, I never utilized the ratio, as only the 5 users on my site were friends. I wish I had been more persistent about getting this detail removed. Anything you don't correct will bother you for life.

6) You mentioned something about a child porn case taking priority. Those delays are what took a year for my case to move forward. I heard all about child porn cases, serial killers, pedophiles. I believe they tell you these things because they want you to feel you're on an equal level to these people, subliminally. Don't let this phase you. My crime was a post 9/11 follow-up and as such, I was referred to as a cyber-terrorist.

7) Try to think about the details of what communications you had already, specifically regarding the sting operation. Did you sell the modchip or did you sell the labor? It makes a difference regarding 'private financial gain' I mentioned before. Did you involve anyone else in your operation that they know about? If so, they can tack on conspiracy charges. You can get felonies for each 'crime' as well as a conspiracy to commit such crimes, effectively doubling your charges.

8) If you can swing it, try to be awarded 'discovery' when your case is over. It's a report of the investigation, so you can know what they knew about you. If you don't, you could have a lot of unanswered questions. However, ignorance is bliss, so knowing could just frustrate you that much more. Your call here, but don't sacrifice something else for this detail.

9) Federal sentencing guidelines force a judge to sentence you within a range, based on a point system. His hands are tied, so even if, like in my case, the judge says "this case is bullshit" and says a lot of nasty stuff to the prosecution IN COURT, he can't do anything about it. There are four tiers. In the first tier the judge can opt for lesser punishments of probation/house arrest/halfway house. If you have X points then you get X-X+2 years of prison. I don't remember the specifics and I believe they've changed in 2006 and 2007.

10) Start NOW collecting character letters from friends and family. A character letter is like a reference for a job. Have someone write about a 1 page document pleading to the judge for leniency and describing your good traits. Collect as many as you can get. Read them all, and don't feel compelled to use them all. These letters will also reveal a lot about the people around you that you never knew, and what they think about you. You'll be surprised by both the great things, and sadly, some people who fail to provide them will surprise and disappoint you.

11) Your attorney should try to push the D.A. to request the judge for a "motion for downward depature" due to your cooperation with law enforcement. When they told you they had a better deal for you by surrendering right then, they "railroaded" you which is illegal. Of course, they'll never be called on it, thats just good work and a pat on the back. However, your lawyer should be able to use this to prove "substantial assistance." It may not be enough, in which case they may want to turn you into a mole for that condition. In that case, that's your decision you have to live with. You have to decide if you want to be a rat and live with that, or if you want to take your raping like a man.

12) If/when you have your day in court, be prepared for the moment when the judge will ask you if you have anything to say to the courts. This is not the time to blame the Sony/Warner for profiting from retail albums, while also making money when someone pirates using their internet, cd burners, blank cd media, and then suing them. Apologize to the court, your family, Bill Gates, Nintendo, the taxpayers, and state that you admit what you did was wrong (or at least that you knew it was against the law) and that you'd like to move on with your life and have a positive impact on society. If you can stomach it, the fact you have a new baby should be used as a bargaining chip.

13) If you're in school, stay in school. Get good grades. Get a job. Excel at your job. Prove that even in the face of adversity, you don't buckle, you thrive. It will give your lawyer one more thing to say about you, and you'll prove it to yourself as well. Plus, the workplace is another place to get character letters.

14) If your lawyer decides the plea is the best route, he may arrange a meeting for you and the agent(s) involved in your case. In this case, you're essentially confessing, and they'll write the plea based on some of this information. They'll probably have a human lie detector there too. His job is to sit there, not speak, and watch you and see not only if you're telling the truth, but if you'd be a credible witness. There is no need to lie here, but you don't have to volunteer anything they don't ask for. Also, these guys practice their interrogation skills and do some routines like you've seen on TV (good cop / bad cop). Don't be nervous, and keep this meeting light-hearted. You can even have some fun with it if you're a good conversationalist. Body language speaks volumes, and you can turn some of it back on them. If the investigative agent strikes a nerve or touches a subject you don't like, turn your body away from him, giving him less attention. Direct some questions and comments toward the lie detector. You can have a *little* fun with this. Obviously, don't overdo it.

15) Settle the score with your girl's parents. Remind them that you fathered their grandchild. Take the approach I mentioned for the court room. Admit that while anyone can agree what you're in trouble for is bullshit, you did know that you were breaking the law, and you're deeply sorry for putting your/her family through stress. Explain that you need the support of your friends and family most right now, and that anything less is unacceptable. I assume its the mother-in-law, as its always that dumb bitch lovely lady. Man up to the father-in-law, and tell him that you love his daughter, you don't want to harm anyone, and you just want the chance to be a good father like him. (Regardless of what you might think about him). I didn't catch if you're married, but if you aren't you might start considering it, as it will help matters in court as well. Furthermore, if you're in one of the few backwards states with the law still left, they can add "cohabitation" to your list of charges.

I have a lot more advice for post legal system, but this is a lot as is, and thats a while away. The advice and concerns I can give on living out your sentence would only bother you now more than help. Take care, be careful, stop talking on public forums that law enforcement (HI THERE!) reads. Google some breathing exercises and stress management techniques. This will be over one day. For now, read what I've contributed, and take steps to lead a productive life. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

#243 busteduser


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Posted 17 August 2007 - 08:28 AM

Sorry for the double post, but I didn't see an edit button.

I'd be careful about paypal and such. They've been known to freeze accounts especially with 'charity' cases as they have their own. You may want to transfer any donations as quick as they arrive. The gov did freeze my accounts which left me stranded, unable to get gas to get to work, unable to buy food, and limiting my ability to receive money to just borrowing cash from people physically.

Also, I realized I left some questions in my post that might compel you to answer them. Don't feel you have to do so publicly. If you want to talk further, you can pm me.

Edited by busteduser, 17 August 2007 - 08:29 AM.

#244 airthatkills


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Posted 02 November 2007 - 06:36 AM

Hey falls , Im sorry to hear about the BS you have been put through.
I do have some questions that have never been answered but have thought about.
1. If I bought the hardware ,don't I own it?
2. If I don't own it and am only granted a license per se , then isn't my hardware under a perment warrarty?
3. If I do own the hardware and add a mod to it , isn't the mod a new type of software? and I am free to do as I please?

I always thought if I bought the harware , I owned it. Like my computer. Do you see where I'm going with this ?

Good luck

#245 Brogen


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Posted 26 December 2007 - 08:07 PM

property n. anything that is owned by a person or entity. Property is divided into two types: "real property" which is any interest in land, real estate, growing plants or the improvements on it, and "personal property" (sometimes called "personalty") which is everything else. "Common property" is ownership by more than one person of the same possession. "Community property" is a form of joint ownership between husband and wife recognized in several states. "Separate property" is property owned by one spouse only in a community property state, or a married woman's sole ownership in some states. "Public property," refers to ownership by a governmental body such as the federal, state, county or city governments or their agencies (e.g. school or redevelopment districts). The government, and, in particular, the courts are obligated to protect property rights and to help clarify ownership.

In reading forums about situations like this it appears that everyone forgot possesion is 9/10ths of the law. its bought, not leased or rented. also assumption makes a ass out of me and you both. to assume someone is going to pirate games, music, or movies is just as wrong. boycotting just dont get the messege out anymore. any system that was purchased should be left up to the owner what to do with it. i'm seeing the whole situation as property rights (property right - the legal right of ownership). but what truly amazes me not one person on a forum that i've seen has suggested a class action suit or a that lawyer hasn't seen the possibilities here. instead of waiting to be put on the defensive maybe its time for people to unite and bring the fight to whoever it may be trying to abuse this law that everyone feels is unjust.

i know i'll sign on for a lawsuit like that, but if ya haven't guessed it then i'll tell ya straight. i'm no legal expert, dont know squat about the legal system. i cant even find the damn shift key to use caps, but i do know i signed no contract saying i wouldn't pay to have a system moded or do it myself. cause believe it or not, noone here just wants a game system anymore. a entertainment system is what people want today. And i do believe everyone here was told that some things you have to do yourself. thats what drove these modders to tweak systems to the way they prefer them.

so i'll end with this note for those that are gonna call me a idiot or stupid. have you forgotten how to think for yourself without being told what to believe?

#246 Corpmsan


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Posted 06 January 2008 - 12:45 AM

I guess you can say that I "Work for the Man". My expertise involves post sentencing. You have received some good advice from some people and really bad advice from others. I would advise you to strongly consider taking a plea agreement if one is offered to you, and one surely will be because it is expensive to bring a trial to jury. I advise you to not even think about fighting this charge unless you have the backing of some organization like the ACLU. There was mention of gathering character letters... It has been my experience that character letters are useless unless they are written to disparage you. As an example, I just processed a case in which a man got 50 years to life......FOR PIMPING! He had 10 character letters written for him from women declaring him not to be a pimp. Draw from that what you will but that is only one example of hundreds.

When it comes to sentencing you will most likely have a Probation Officer prepare a report in which they opine about what your punishment should be. He will write about factors of mitigation (things in your favor) such as the fact that you cooperated and admitted wrongdoing early on in the investigation, you are a productive member of society (significant employment record, school attendance, etc.). He will also write about factors in aggravation such as previous criminality with increasing seriousness, failure to pay financial obligations like child support (this is kind of a big deal as the opposite could help to keep you out of prison. If you are a significant source of financial support for a child.)

One thing to consider is the fact that the crime for which you are charged is in evolution. What I mean by this is, there are clear wrongdoers when it comes to DCMA. These would be those who profit by stealing the intellectual rights of corporations, then there are those who simply want a legitimate way to insure their investments. This would include backing up software which was legitimately purchased. Usually with such societal laws in flux, the pendulum swings to extremes before settling on reasonable laws.

So what would be reasonable given the current situation you might ask. IMHO it would be reasonable to expect that if a corporation is providing you an intellectual property for use only, then they should be responsible for its repair or replacement for its intended lifetime. What is an intended lifetime? It can be argued that game consoles have a lifespan of 10 years while software and music has an unlimited lifespan. Anyway, that is just me opinion. One thing to remember in all of this is that there is NOTHING wrong with a company making a profit. If you think otherwise then you should probably be living in Venezuela or the newly reemerging Soviet Union. It is also important to understand that the United States works under what is called a Market System. Simply put, this means that most goods are traded under the supply versus demand system. If you feel that video games cost too much money and you want to stick it to the man by copying them illegally, then you must also understand the unintended consequences of your choice to do so. First, and most importantly, if EA fails to make a profit on selling games, then they will cease producing games. This means that there would be no more Madden Football or SOCOM and any other games that we all love to play.

This might all eventually turn into a system that models Linux. Where the ability to make video games becomes open source and people make video games for systems for the love of making video games and we all enjoy the fruits of their labors. Unfortunately for this to hold true then you can expect to pay about $2,000 for your Xbox and PS3. Trust me when I tell you that even though you may think that $500 is too much to charge for a PS3, Sony is actually losing money on every console that they produce. How can this be you might ask? Well it is because they make up their loss by charging licensing fees to software producers who in turn, pass that cost on to the consumers.

The modding community is unfortunately made up 90% of people who are like HIV viruses. Their actions will eventually kill their host (video game makers). Remember that increased supply results in lower prices but can only occur when there is increased demand.

/Steps off soapbox

#247 ecampbell80


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Posted 01 February 2008 - 08:44 AM

busteduser = Fed

#248 mrmyrtle75


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Posted 21 March 2008 - 06:26 AM

Jesus it is long

I just had a long ass post but I deleted it because I dont even think half of you people would get it anyway.

Sucks ya got popped man.....good luck

#249 metaldawg321


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Posted 01 April 2008 - 02:25 AM

I registered just to say this:
Our American government can be assholes, yet we have to deal with that. Sometimes, I wish shit like this would never happen. Did they literally like take all the good stuff away from you?

#250 jaczar


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Posted 01 May 2008 - 06:09 PM

dude, thats really fucked up, bc at a local gamestop theres a guy that asks if people would like him to mod their wii/xbox/xbox360 for them. tell them that they can download games and put them on their hd or burn them to disks and play them. theres also a pawn shop about 10 mins down the road that installs modchips and sells burnt copies of games.

and to think that they would pick you out of all these people to crack down upon. i mean hell they could go to the pirates like u said. but is modding actually illegal. does it condone anything illegal? its like installing a turbo on ur car. its not illegal and yet ppl do it to outrun police all the time. but id like to state that yes i live in the us. and yes i know lots of pirates... but the fact that they went after a modder is completely rediculous.

u should talk to someone and see if u can help crackdown on pirates instead of modders. and give them some info about the people in dalton that like to sell copies of games. tell them to check the local gamestop for people that do shit like that and maybe u can get some shit removed from you.

i dont endorce piracy myself and if there was some type of reward for that shit. damn right id turn there asses in. but the way i see it, it could help u.

Edited by jaczar, 01 May 2008 - 06:10 PM.

#251 calloused labia

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Posted 19 October 2008 - 08:29 AM

Does anybody know how this turned out?

#252 zaythlevi


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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:38 PM

First of all,get a good lawyer because the dmca allows reverse engineering. Just say you mod for homebrew. And that was pretty stupid to let them search u without a warrant. And how can they not let u see ur family. Wow those anti pirate nut jobs are fucked up. screw them. grr.gif

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