“Intellectual property crimes are not victimless,” declared U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr., though if we’re talking about a bootlegged karaoke version of Muse’s “Uprising”, pseudo-intellectual might be closer to the truth. The Contra-Costa Times reports former LA Dodgers first round pick Bill Bene plead guilty yesterday to charges of operating a counterfeit karaoke business, as well as evading taxes on the proceeds.
Bene, 44, of Pasadena signed an agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts charging him with criminal copyright infringement and filing a false tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A date for the guilty plea to be heard is expected to be set April 30.
According to the agreement, Bene sold illegal karaoke jukeboxes between 2006 and 2010 and did not report more than $600,000 in sales to the Internal Revenue Service.
Bene further acknowledged that during those years, he illegally copied and sold karaoke songs on hard drives containing about 122,000 titles each, prosecutors said.
Bene also admitted that he did not tell the IRS about the business, even going so far as to ask the IRS in 2008 for relief from back taxes because he claimed that he could not afford to pay.