Man Pleads Guilty To Leaking Season Premiere Of 24 Online

Fox, the television network that airs the series, reported that the leak of four episodes cost the company more than $4 million.
A Chicago man pleaded guilty on Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to a felony charge for leaking the season premiere and three other episodes of the TV show 24 by uploading them onto a Web site.

The Fox television network, which airs the series, reported that the leak cost the company more than $4 million.

Jorge Romero, 25, admitted in court that he uploaded the first two episodes of this season's 24 to the Web site on Jan. 6, just eight days before it was broadcast on the Fox television network, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported. Romero also admitted uploading the second two episodes of the TV show to the same Web site on Jan. 7.

Romero then told the court that, after uploading the episodes, he publicized them by providing links on other publicly available sites, including Fox broadcast the first four episodes of 24 on Jan. 14 and 15, and subsequently released the four-episode season premiere on DVD.

According to the plea agreement, Romero faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, along with a year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Romero was charged early in June.

The government reported that the case began when Fox employees saw the yet-to-be-released episodes on LiveDigital before the actual release date. After investigators determined that the accounts used to upload the episodes were assigned to Romero and his family, law enforcement agents obtained and executed a search warrant for Romero's home. The U.S. Attorney's Office added that during the search, agents seized a computer on which they found evidence that Romero uploaded the stolen materials.

The 24 TV series stars Kiefer Sutherland as agent Jack Bauer, who works in a fictional anti-terror unit in the U.S. government. The show is presented in real time, with each season of the show representing a day in Bauer's life.

Editor's Choice
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Terry White, Associate Chief Analyst, Omdia
John Abel, Technical Director, Google Cloud
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer