Riverside Police Department
Press Release

 

For Immediate Release

Date October 18, 2001
Contact Detective Ron Wright
Phone (909) 320-8000
Fax (909) 320-8030

 

502/593 PC Search Warrant Service

Riverside, Ca-  Members of the Riverside PD, Economic Crimes Unit, served a search warrant at a residence located in the at 8600 block of Sands Ave., Riverside. This is an ongoing investigation involving subscription television system fraud that originated in Van Nuys. The Riverside PD is assisting the Los Angeles PD in this investigation. Fraud investigators representing DirecTV, HBO and AOL Time Warner are also assisting in this investigation.

A hotel located in Van Nuys was receiving HBO, CNN, ESPN, Disney, and other providers via DirecTV satellite system. The system at the hotel was installed and being maintained by "Advanced Satellite Systems." The business address of Advanced was believed to be in the 8600 block of Sands Ave., Riverside. The system at the hotel was installed in such a manner that DirecTV was supplying programming based on one residential subscription. The residential subscription being paid was approximately $65.00 per month. The commercial subscription rate that DirecTV was entitled to is approximately $8.00 per rentable room, per month. In this case there were 74 rooms receiving service. The commercial rate would be approximately $592.00 per month.

During the search of this residence some forty satellite receivers, numerous satellite TV access cards ("smart cards"), three computer systems, and business and banking records were seized. Records seized revealed the existence of at least twenty more systems installed in hotels located in three states. The total revenue loss to the industry exceeds $100,000 per year on the known locations.

No arrests were made at this time and the investigation is continuing.