A famous New Jersey YouTuber was arrested by the FBI and charged in one of the largest illegal TV pirating rings ever.
Known to his over 800,000 Youtube followers as Omi in a Hellcat for his high-end luxury vehicles collection, Bill Omar Carrasquillo, 34, is charged with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, tax evasion and fraud for his illegal online streaming service websites.
Partners Jesse Gonzales, 42, of Pico Rivera, California, and Michael Barone, 36, of Richmond Hill, New York, have also been charged.
According to the 69-page, 62-count indictment, the partners ran an illegal streaming service from 2016 to 2019 — at various times called Reboot, Gears TV, Reloaded and Gears Reloaded — that offered subscribers all-inclusive access to content from the likes of Comcast, Verizon FiOS, DirectTV, HBO and others for as low as $15 a month.
Prosecutors allege they collected over $30 million in subscription fees, which they tried to hide by distributing to various apps and bank accounts.
Carasquillo, who livestreamed his arrest Tuesday, claims that he paid subscription fees for all of the subscriptions and content services that he later broadcast out to his thousands of subscribers.
In November 2019, Carrasquillo’s home was raided by federal agents, who seized $35 million in assets and 57 luxury cars, including Lamborghinis, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces.
“They came back for things they alleged I did. The copyright infringement. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, obviously,” he told FOX 29 outside his home in Swedesboro, New Jersey, on Wednesday, just a day after his arrest. “We’re going to have our day in court now.”
He said he doesn’t believe he’s “completely innocent,” saying, “Ignorance is not an excuse for the law.”
“I found a loophole, I ran through it and I did great. There are other colleagues in the same business I was in and they never got in trouble with the FBI,” he told FOX 29.
Bradley S. Benavides, acting head of the FBI’s Philadelphia office, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “You can’t just go and monetize someone else’s copyrighted content with impunity.”
“Theft is theft, and if you’re going to willfully steal another party’s intellectual property, the FBI stands ready to step in and shut you down,” he said.
Donte Mills, Carrasquillo’s lawyer, told the Inquirer on Wednesday that at the time, there was no law explicitly prohibiting how it operated.
“There were no regulations when he did it,” Mills told the paper. “We will prove the charges he received do not apply to his conduct.”
Carrasquillo said the arrest was a “relief.”
“I didn’t know what was going on for two years. No answers, no nothing,” he said.
“So finally, you know, I get to not be depressed, not be stressed out anymore. Now I’ll get my day in court.”
Carrasquillo seems to be prepared to go to prison, according to his videos on YouTube in which he openly discusses his legal troubles.
“You gotta be humble in victory and humble in defeat,” he said in one video after the 2019 FBI raid. “I’m gonna do a couple of years off of this. I’m going to go to jail for a couple of years.”