THE UNITED STATES Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged a man on suspicion of selling fake Microsoft software with a sales value of over $1.2m.
Bruce Alan Edward, 48, of Atlanta is charged with five counts of criminal copyright infringement and one count of mail fraud. He is accused of buying fake copies of Microsoft software from China and Singapore and putting it onto Ebay, where he allegedly resold it.
The DoJ said that he used the US Postal Service to deliver his wares, which presumably is where the mail fraud charges come in.
Edward is accused of depriving Microsoft of $1.2m in revenue, but that is not how much he made out of his shady business. The DoJ alleges that he made off with about $140,000 in two years by selling around 2,500 counterfeit Microsoft software packages.
If he is convicted he could be fined $1.5m and imprisoned for up to 45 years. The DoJ added that he also might have to turn over any criminal proceeds and "any property used to commit the alleged criminal activity," which we take to mean his computers, his vehicle(s) and possibly even real estate.
We have asked Microsoft to comment, but so far it has not. µ