Woman sentenced in counterfeit DVD scheme

ELLSWORTH — A Bucksport woman was sentenced in federal court in Bangor on Nov. 2 for aiding and abetting a mail fraud scheme.

U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. sentenced Heidi Pugliese, 54, to five years of probation, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank. Pugliese was also ordered to pay restitution to victims defrauded in the scheme.

Pugliese pleaded guilty in August 2019 to aiding and abetting Douglas Gordon, 53, of Mattawamkeag in carrying out his Maine-based scheme to sell counterfeit DVDs online. An investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations revealed that Gordon, the former owner of a chain of video rental stores in eastern Maine, operated three websites from which he made hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales of more than 48,000 counterfeit copies of copyright-protected movies. Pugliese assisted the scheme over a 21-month period from 2013 to 2015, during which time it brought in approximately $140,000, according to Frank.

Gordon was convicted of mail fraud and copyright infringement charges in October 2019 after a seven-day jury trial in which Pugliese testified for the government.

Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case, with assistance from the Maine Attorney General’s Office, the Brewer Police Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Better Business Bureau.

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