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Diabolic Investigation Centered on Specific Performers

Diabolic Investigation Centered on Specific Performers
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Wednesday, Jul 26, 2006    Text size: 
CHATSWORTH — When FBI agents came to the offices of Diabolic Video Monday morning, one of the first people Diabolic owner Gregg Allan called was Chris Haberski, owner of KeepSafe, the company that computerizes all of Diabolic’s 2257 records.

Haberski, who began working with Diabolic about 2 1/2 years ago and describes his company as a “complete 2257 solution,” said he arrived at Diabolic’s offices at around 11:30, shortly after receiving a call from Allan. He said Allan had to catch a flight for a previously planned business trip in the early afternoon and that the investigation wrapped up around 5:30.

The inspection was the first ever in the 11 years federal agents have had the green light to check records (the statute has been in place since 1988, but movies produced before July 3, 1995 are exempt).

“Gregg called me at about 10:30 and asked if I could come over. He said the FBI was there,” Haberski said. “It was just like in the movies: six agents in unmarked vehicles. The lead agents was an active FBI agent with a badge and gun, the other five were retired, and each had different tasks — one manned the printer, one checked off names from a list, then he passed the records on to another agent who looked at the IDs and birth dates. They were polite but diligent.”

Haberski said he wanted to clarify one detail from previous reports concerning a list of 10 companies and 23 titles from various studios under investigation.

“They had a list of performers who have appeared in 23 Diabolic videos,” Haberski said. “Those were the records they were interested in. The list was strictly for Diabolic. They didn’t mention any other companies or show us a list of other companies.”

Haberski said agents hooked up their own Hewlett-Packard printer-scanner-copier to a stand-alone kiosk that KeepSafe provides clients as a hub for 2257 records.

“I think the agents were surprised at how smoothly the process went,” Haberski said. “As the day progressed and the agents saw how efficiently we had the system set up and how quickly we helped them get the information they wanted, the situation got more relaxed, and I chatted with the agents quite a lot.

“The last thing the agent said to me before he left was, ‘In my report to the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Justice, I will put in there that Diabolic was 100 percent compliant on this investigation today.’”

Haberski added that the agent also asked him if he worked with other adult companies. When Haberski answered yes, the agent said he wouldn't be surprised if they saw each other again in the near future.

Haberski said it took KeepSafe about six months to set up Diabolic’s web-based record system, working with the company’s owners, lawyers and in-house record-keeping staff to create a customized system that covers every aspect of 2257, not just age verification. The goal is to not only make records easy to find but also to protect records against fires, floods, disgruntled employees, filing errors and other hazards.

“If you don’t have a good system in place so that the FBI can find what they want when they want it, they will keep coming back to your offices until they do,” he says. “You could be looking at days of inspections. And I believe there are aspects of 2257 that most people's systems don't cover.”

However, Haberski adds that KeepSafe is a “shit in, shit out” system, meaning that his company can organize and protect records and make inspections less interruptive to business, but responsibility for collecting and verifying IDs still rests with production companies.

“We can help people from an organizational and filing standpoint,” he says, “but if a company has an ID with a blacked-out face, we can’t make it come clear.”

And, he was quick to point out, “Diabolic has good people in house.”

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