Movies By Mail Defendants Seeking Legal Fund Donations

Tod Hunter
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Sami and Michael Harb, the owners of Movies By Mail who are facing federal charges for selling obscene materials, are asking for funds from supporters before their planned arraignment and indictment July 12 in Salt Lake City.

In a federal complaint filed June 8 and unsealed June 14, the U.S. Attorney's Office has charged the Harbs with one count each of selling obscene material. The investigation into MoviesByMail.com began last August when the FBI's Adult Obscenity Task Force received a tip that the website was selling alleged obscene DVDs. In March, FBI agents placed an order for "Max Hardcore: Pure Max 18," Max Hardcore: Extreme 12" and Extreme Associates' "Cocktails 5" and had them shipped to Utah.

"They pulled our postal records and found that we had shipped 670-plus packages to Utah in '06," Harb told XBIZ. "I scratched my head. I said, 'Doesn't that tell you that the people in Utah want it? Doesn’t that vindicate us?' They said 'No.'"

Harb intends to defend his company against the charges.

"We don't feel we did anything wrong, The government uses their muscle; their M.O. has always been to drive up the price on us to put us out of business from legal fees. That's what we're trying to avoid." Sami Harb said. "I don't think any person has the right to tell anyone whether they can purchase a legal copy of a product that has not been deemed illegal. I don't care who you are, you have the [right] to watch and do whatever you want in the privacy of your own home, as long as it's not effecting anyone or hurting anyone. It's nobody's business. That's what I think it should be, or that's what I thought it should be. The federal government doesn't agree with us."

Harb told XBIZ that they need to raise $100,000 in the next two weeks.

A fund has been set up by Movies By Mail's attorney. Donations can be sent to:

Richard Lillie, Esq.
75 Public Square, Ste 1313
Cleveland, OH 44113

Checks should be made payable to Richard Lillie and note "MBM Defense Fund."

Donations also can be made through PayPal to sam@moviesbymail.com. Contributions should note "MBM Defense Fund."