YouTuber ‘Omi in a Hellcat’ speaks out after arrest in federal piracy case
SWEDESBORO, N.J. - After a two-year investigation, a 69-page indictment outlines what federal prosecutors say was one of the largest illegal TV pirating rings they’ve ever seen and it was allegedly run by a New Jersey YouTube star. True to his social media persona "Omi in a Hellcat" says he is not backing down.
Known by more than a million followers for showing off his high-end cars, expensive jewelry and megawatt smile, the sensation known as "Omi in a Hellcat" gained internet fame over the past five years.
In a 62-count federal indictment, he’s known by his government name, Bill Omar Carrasquillo. The 34-year-old is charged with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, tax evasion and fraud.
"I don’t think I ever did anything wrong. Obviously, I was running businesses wide open in the public. Now, we are going to have our day in court," said Carrasquillo.
Fresh out of federal custody and with a camera in hand the social media influencer spoke with FOX 29 outside his rural Swedesboro home that was dotted with nearly a dozen high-end Mercedes, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. One neighbor called his home "the car dealership."
"You are saying you are completely innocent of those charges?" asked FOX 29 reporter Chris O’Connell. "Not completely innocent would be a false statement. Ignorance is no excuse for the law," said Carrasquillo.
He claims past accountants and tax preparers got him into tax trouble.
The indictment claims from 2016 to 2019, Carrasquillo and two partners created an illegal multi-million dollar TV streaming empire. It claims his company stole and retransmitted cable signals from companies like Comcast and Verizon FIOS. Subscribers would pay a $15 a month subscription for access to premium cable channels, on-demand movies, and pay-per-view events, according to the indictment.
Carrasquillo was arrested in his home early Tuesday morning. The arrest was live-streamed by his followers on social media. Carrasquillo says he was exploiting what he called a "grey area" in the law.
Mobile users can view the full indictment, here.
"I found a loophole, I ran through it and I did great. There is other colleagues in the same business I was in and they never got in trouble with the FBI," he added.
Carrasquillo says he knew an arrest could be imminent. Back in November of 2019, his sprawling home was raided by agents who hauled away more than $35 million in assets.
The government confiscated dozens of properties around Philadelphia and more than 50 vehicles, including a $205,000 Bentley, a $140,000 Tesla and a $233,000 Rolls Royce.
Facing decades in prison, the former drug dealer from North Philly turned millionaire says he’s already moved on to other business ventures while his case goes through the system.
"Did I blatantly just ran away from the law and try to evade? None of that stuff I’ve ever done," Carrasquillo said.
Watch his full interview on FOX 29's YouTube page, here.
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