NEW YORK, June 29 (UPI) -- The FBI arrested 13 members of two movie counterfeiting gangs in New York just before they illegally taped "Superman Returns."
The gang members were arrested in predawn raids in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn and charged for their parts in a piracy scheme, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.
The feds moved in while the gangs were plotting to shoot "Superman Returns," which was released Wednesday. The counterfeiters had even produced printed inserts for the film's DVD cases, federal agents said.
The suspects face charges of conspiracy, copyright infringement, and trafficking in counterfeit labels, documents, and packaging. Each charge contains a maximum sentence of five years, reported the New York Sun.
"The suspects taken into custody today are responsible for nearly half of all video recordings that occur in the United States, we believe," said Michael Robinson, vice president and director of anti-piracy operations at the Motion Picture Association of America. "That is a tremendous piece of movie piracy that occurs worldwide."