Pirate group leader pleads guilty, faces $250,000 fine & jail time

California resident and accused online piracy ring mastermind Richard Franco Montejano pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement on Monday according to a Department of Justice statement.

The 29-year-old Montejano told Los Angeles judge George H. King that he intentionally lead a warez group called “Old School Classics” for five years – ironically the same amount of time he could spend in prison pending sentencing.

OSC illegally reproduced and distributed various music over the internet said the DoJ, eventually joining forces with two pirates from a previously disbanded warez group called “Rabid Neurosis.” Those members, Bennie Glover and James Anthony Dockery, were sentenced last year to three months of jail time for their illicit contributions. The pair pleaded guilty to the same crime Montejano admitted to, giving the now-convicted pirate some hope for leniency.

From the DoJ press release:

Montajano admitted that he maintained a computer server at his Harbor City residence to which other OSC members uploaded pirated music.  He admitted that a member of OSC uploaded the Kanye West album “Graduation,” to Montejano’s server in August 2007, more than one week before the album was commercially released.  Montejano also admitted using his server to upload pirated music to other warez group servers.

Montejano’s sentencing is tentatively scheduled for July 25th. (Via The U.S. Department of Justice)

Do you believe that a quarter million dollar fine plus jail time is appropriate for this type of crime? Sound off with us in the comments.