Importer of Pirated Software Gets “Clicked” . . . into Handcuffs

Mr. Jimmy Frank Chester, JD/LL.M's Internet Law Legal Blogs

Licensed for 20 years

Attorney in Dallas, TX

A California, man was recently arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
special agents for importing more than 1,000 counterfeit Microsoft
Office CD-ROMs and selling them to unsuspecting customers over the
Internet.

Collier Bennett Harper, 30, was taken into custody late
Friday (April 6). He is charged in a four-count federal indictment
following the seizure of two shipments of Microsoft Office Professional
Edition 2007 software CD-ROMs. Specifically, the indictment charges
Harper with two counts of trafficking counterfeit goods and two counts
of smuggling. If convicted of all charges, Harper faces a maximum
sentence of 60 years in federal prison. The case is being prosecuted by
the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

"With
the advent of the Internet, counterfeiting now threatens nearly every
consumer in the nation and it also harms the valuable intellectual
property of our manufacturers," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr.,
Central District of California. "That is why we are working with our
partners at HSI to crack down on the illegal sales and distribution of
counterfeit products like the software packages seized in this case."

HSI’s
investigation revealed that, as part of the alleged scheme, Harper
would contact reputable dealers on eBay and hire them to sell the
counterfeit software. According to investigators, the defendant
allegedly instructed the sellers how to list the software, describing
the product as "new" and authentic. The sellers would provide Harper
with the payment and the customers’ addresses, and the defendant would
ship the counterfeit software to the unsuspecting buyers. Based on
evidence gathered during the probe, investigators believe nearly 1,000
counterfeit software packages were sold.

"The
sale of counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime," said Claude
Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. "These activities
undermine our economy, rob Americans of jobs, stifle American innovation
and promote crime. Intellectual property theft amounts to economic
sabotage, which is why HSI will continue to aggressively pursue product
counterfeiters and those who sell counterfeit products."

Investigators
estimate, based upon the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, the
seized software would have retailed for approximately $150,000 had it
been genuine.

 

SOURCE: DHS / ICE

Importer of Pirated Software Gets "Clicked", California man arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) for importing more than 1,000 counterfeit Microsoft Office CDs and selling them over Internet.

‹ Blogs Home