A 24-year old from Texas, was sentenced to 41 months in prison for selling counterfeit computer software through the Internet in violation of criminal copyright infringement laws. The software sold had a combined retail value of more than $1 million.
The man was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $810,257 in restitution. The judge ordered him to forfeit a Ferrari 348 TB and a Rolex watch purchased with illegal proceeds of the scheme.
According to court documents, from July 2004 through May 2008, the accused operated approximately 40 Web sites that sold a large volume of downloadable counterfeit software without authorization from the copyright owners. He admitted to operating computer servers in Austria and Malaysia.
Agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), working in cooperation with foreign law enforcement, seized his international computer servers. According to court documents, the accused promoted his illicit scheme by purchasing advertising for his Web sites from major Internet search engines. Throughout the entire course of the scheme, the defendant processed more than $800,000 dollars through credit card merchant accounts under his control.
The case is part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing initiative to combat the sale of pirated software and counterfeit goods through commercial Web sites and online auction sites such as eBay. To date, the Department has obtained 33 convictions involving online auction and commercial distribution of counterfeit software. The Department’s initiative to combat online auction piracy is just one of several steps being undertaken to address the losses caused by intellectual property theft and hold responsible those engaged in criminal copyright infringement.