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Italian fiscal police (Guardia di Finanza) shut down ItalianShare.net last November and  have arrested this week the 49-year-old operator of a handful of file-sharing sites that were previously shut down. The man, known online under the pseudonym “Tex Willer”, allegedly made over half a million euros profit from the sites. Besides copyright infringement, tax evasion, forgery, fraud and counterfeiting, he is also accused of selling the email addresses of 300,000 users and carried 31, 402 links to movies, music, TV shows, software and games indexed on BitTorrent, cyberlockers and eDonkey networks.

According to the authorities, Willer earned 37,000 euros by making the site’s user database available to advertisers. Emails and IP-addresses were sold without permission of the site’s members, which is a violation of privacy law. He is also suspected of creating fake invoices worth 100,000 euros, and failing to pay 83,000 euros in taxes. In total, Willer made a profit of 580,000 euros since he began his activities in 2007.

The authorities claim that the value of the copyrighted works that were made available amounts to 32 million euros. For these copyright infringements Willer is facing hefty fines.

While the sites have been shutdown, FIMI says an investigation into the advertisers who collaborated with Willer is ongoing.

Cross-posted from: Torrent Freak



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