Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Carmel on the Case: Black Market Movies Update
Tonight, an update on the school board employee accused of peddling pirated films. When he was supposed to be working for the schools, we found him selling black market movies. Well now, the courts are trying to make sure there won't be a sequel. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is -- on the case.
WSVN -- It was back in February when Bobby Kuse took off, and he had good reason to run. We caught him on camera selling pirated movies at an Opa Locka cafeteria counter.
Michael Catalano: "He admits to doing something very, you know foolish."
Michael Catalano represents Kuse, who is an electrician for Miami-Dade schools. But instead of going to work at a school in the morning, Kuse sold movies -- black market movies
Repeatedly, Kuse didn't leave the cafeteria before 8:45 - almost two hours after his 7:00am shift began.
And he parked his truck out of sight in an alley. For $5 dollars each, Kuse sold us five movies that were still showing in theaters.
School police investigated and the state attorney's office charged him with a misdemeanor.
His lawyer says a deal has been worked out for a pre-trial diversion program for the first time offender.
Michael Catalano: "But with pre trial diversion, you don't admit to a crime. You just say I'll do this if you'll drop the charges. It's an agreement."
Catalano says Kuse has agreed to do 50 hours of community service and attend a class on values. Pirating costs the movie industry billions in lost revenues. When the movie "Retirement" was shooting on Miami Beach back in February, I showed the producers the movies Kuse sold us.
Producer Michael Pietrzak: "For five dollars each it makes it difficult for us to stay in business or have a business anyway with people selling them for five dollars."
First to feel the impact - extras and support workers who are at the top of the chopping block when producers need to reduce costs.
Producer Michael Lerner: "It's different when you steal from one person, you're hurting that person. When you steal something like this, you're hurting thousands."
Still unknown, what impact all this will have on Kuse's 20 year career with the school board.
Catalano says Kuse was contacted by a movie industry investigator who wanted to know his source of movies. Catalano says his client cooperated by identifying several neighborhood stores and restaurant parking lots.
For more information, or if you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or In Broward at 954-921-CLUE