Former Kalisto Ripper Fined and Sentanced To Three Years Probation

Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JEFFREY LERMAN, also known as “asdgadg,” “kall,” “ht,” and “reg,” age 23, of College Park, Maryland, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to three years of probation, the first six months of which LERMAN must serve confined to his home. Judge Chatigny also ordered LERMAN to pay a fine in the amount of $7500. On March 8, 2005, LERMAN waived indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. This matter stems from a multinational software piracy investigation known as “Operation Higher Education.”

In pleading guilty, LERMAN admitted that, between January 2002 and April 2004, he was a participant in the “warez scene,” an underground online community consisting of individuals and organized groups who engage in the large scale reproduction, modification and distribution of copyrighted software over the internet. Specifically, LERMAN was a prominent member of the warez group known as “Kalisto,” where he served as a “ripper” for pirated copies of computer games so that each game would fit onto a single CD-ROM. LERMAN eliminated or circumvented the games’ copy protection controls in order to facilitate the further unauthorized distribution of the games over the internet. From June 2000 to April 2004, Kalisto was responsible for releasing to the warez scene pirated copies of more than 500 well-known, copyrighted computer games, often before the date of their legitimate commercial release.

United States Attorney’s Office District of Connecticut,