Region Briefly Sept. 30

RENO(AP) - A retired IRS agent has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Reno on charges of transporting a woman from California to Nevada for prostitution.

The indictment handed up Wednesday charges 58-year-old Kemp Shiffer with two counts of prostitution-related crimes.

A federal arrest warrant was issued. Authorities say he faces up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $500,000 if convicted.

Shiffer was first arrested in August by a regional law enforcement team investigating online escort advertisements.

Once a veteran agent assigned to the IRS criminal division, Shiffer was the lead investigator into fugitive brothel owner Joe Conforte, who fled to Brazil after being indicted.

In 2006, Shiffer was also a financial backer for a proposed brothel in Churchill County. County commissioners denied permits for the project.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - An operator of what had been a popular underground website for downloading pirated movies has pleaded guilty to a copyright-infringement conspiracy.

Twenty-nine-year-old Hana Beshara of Las Vegas admitted her role Thursday in running NinjaVideo, which at one point allowed millions of users to illegally download movies and television programs.

Federal prosecutors in Alexandria estimated NinjaVideo users submitted more than 1 million requests a week for pirated movies and TV shows before the site was shut down last year.

In court documents Thursday, Beshara admitted that she personally profited by $210,000 for operating NinjaVideo between 2008 and 2010. While most content was available for free, some required a subscription fee. Users also made donations online.

Beshara is the second person linked to NinjaVideo to plead guilty. Three others still face trial.


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