Action 9

DISH claims Matthews man stole signal, sues him for potentially $1M

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Dish Network is suing a Matthews man for potentially millions of dollars.

The company claims Elmir Becirspahic illegally bought 27 server passcodes so he could unscramble DISH's signal without paying for it.

[CLICK HERE to read the filed lawsuit]

DISH says Becirspahic sold some of the passcodes and used others for himself.

The satellite cable provider is suing him for a lot of money. Exactly how much is complicated to figure out, but, under certain circumstances it could be all the following:

  • Up to $2,500 for each violation of one federal law
  • Up to $10,000 for each violation of another federal law
  • Up to $100,000 for each violation of another federal law
  • Up to $100 per day for each violation of yet another federal law
  • Punitive damages

Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke spoke with Becirspahic and asked him if he pirated DISH’s signal.

“I have nothing to do with this,” Becirspahic said. “You can go all around and see. I have Time Warner Cable.”

He told Action 9 he’s nervous about the lawsuit and how much money DISH is demanding.

Stoogenke contacted DISH to see how often it sues people for piracy. The company wouldn't say, but did tell Channel 9, "Pay-TV providers have a long history of aggressively fighting piracy. Piracy is tantamount to theft, hurting honest consumers through increased costs to the industry. Pay-TV providers invest billions of dollars in exchange for the right to deliver high-quality programming to our customers."

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