4,500 pirated DVDs worth over $90k confiscated from Pinoy store in Long Beach
A total of 4,500 pirated DVDs with a value of over US$90,000 were confiscated by LASD from F.L.B. Video Pinoy, together with a computer, external hard drives, a disc burner and a burner tower, among others, to duplicate DVDs illegally for rent or for sale at US$10 apiece. A fifth of the seized DVDs were films and TV shows from ABS-CBN’s Star Cinema and TFC.
The said center on Santa Fe Avenue is a hub for Filipinos living in the City of Long Beach as it has an oriental supermarket, cargo and money remittance services, and restaurants serving Filipino and Asian food, among others. F.L.B. Video Pinoy, which is a retail store offering media and telecommunications-based subscription services and pirated DVDs, was benefitting from the traffic of Filipino customers that flows into the area.
“I would say that this is a mid-level distribution and manufacturing. But we can’t be deceived by the small mom and pop type of shop because the amount of parts you can mass produce in a very short period of time is really incredible,” said Kris Buckner, president of Investigative Consultants (IC).
A Filipina described by investigators as a co-owner of the store was arrested during the raid while an arrest warrant was issued for the store’s owner, Fernando Legaspi Bernabe, who ran and lost for the Long Beach City Council four years ago. Both are facing felony charges.
The store has floor to ceiling metal shelves offering miscellaneous illegal DVDs including ABS-CBN titles for sale.
“You know it’s fake because the images on the cover are weird and there are typos in the print. Then when you open it, there’s a purple glow on the back of the DVDs,” explained LASD Deputy Chris Figueroa.
This is the third Filipino business raid this year for alleged DVD piracy in Southern California. ABS-CBN has partnered with law enforcement and investigators to step up its anti-piracy campaigns throughout the world in 2014 to ensure that the content that is distributed, whether in DVD or digital form, is the best experience for its customers. Moreover, the company combats piracy as it is a known to finance other criminal activities, including terrorism, and it also impacts detrimentally the industry workers and communities.