THE UNITED STATES Department of Justice (DoJ) has unsealed indictments of six men who are accused of profiteering from fake Android apps and storefronts that sell them.
The DoJ unsealed the charges in Georgia, and said that the men are from the websites Appbucket, Applanet and SnappzMarket, which were seized in 2012, and are charged with the illegal distribution of copies of copyrighted Android mobile device applications.
Two have already been arrested and charged and they represent the Snappzmarket outfit. They are named as Joshua Ryan Taylor, 24, of Kentwood, Michigan, and Scott Walton, 28, of Cleveland, Ohio.
"As a result of their criminal efforts to make money by ripping off the hard work and creativity of high-tech innovators, the defendants are charged with illegally distributing copyrighted apps," said assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell of the Justice Department Criminal Division.
Gary Edwin Sharp II, 26, of Uxbridge, Massachusetts is, like Taylor and Walton, charged with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. He is also charged with two counts of criminal copyright infringement. A fourth man, Kody Jon Peterson, 22, of Clermont, Florida, is named as a conspirator, and he pleaded guilty in April. Together they are estimated to have taken the Android market for $1.7m.
James Blocker, 36, of Rowlett, Texas, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. The DoJ said that Blocker conspired with Thomas Allen Dye, 21, of Jacksonville, Florida and Nicholas Anthony Narbone, 26, of Orlando, Florida and took the market for $700,000. They both pleaded guilty this spring.
Aaron Blake Buckley, 20, of Moss Point, Mississippi, David Lee, 29, of Chino Hills, California, and Sharp identified themselves as members of the Applanet Group, and are accused of selling some $17m worth of illegal copies of copyrighted software.