British Man Sentenced in Theft of Bethesda Company’s Film Equipment

Man took $275,000 worth of equipment back to Great Britain after renting it under false circumstances

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U.S. District Court in Greenbelt

A British man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt Monday to a year and a day in prison and ordered to pay $275,000 in restitution in connection with the theft of property from a Bethesda film equipment rental company.

Darren Oliver Raymond Charles Defoe, 40, of Great Britain, pleaded guilty in March to the transportation of property taken by fraud. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, Defoe and a man identified as William Henry Stickland, 40, took possession of the camera equipment from Visual Edge Productions on Feb. 12, 2011, and then flew back to Great Britain with it on Feb. 13. The equipment was valued at $275,000.

The men claimed they were producing a film in the U.S. and provided fake insurance documentation to the Bethesda rental company to obtain the equipment, according to court documents filed in the case.

Stickland, also a resident of Great Britain, has been charged with conspiracy and interstate transportation of property taken by fraud. Prosecutors plan to seek the extradition of Stickland.

Visual Edge rents out camera, lighting and audio equipment at its Singleton Drive location.

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