Six people, including an Indian, have pleaded guilty to their roles in one of the largest software piracy schemes in the US that involved selling more than $100 million worth of counterfeit software products to thousands of online customers.
Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said an investigation that began in Kansas City, Missouri, uncovered one of the largest software piracy schemes ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice, with tentacles reaching into cities across the US states and overseas.
“Investigators seized more than $20 million (roughly Rs. 132 crores) in assets from conspirators who are estimated to have sold in excess of $100 million (roughly Rs. 663 crores) worth of illicit, unauthorised and counterfeit software products to thousands of online customers,” she said.
The six people who have pleaded guilty in the case are – Casey Lee Ross of Kansas City, Rex Yang of Seattle, Matthew Lockwood of Denver, Reza Davachi of Damascus, Maryland, Jake Schwartz of Seattle and Arunachalam Annamalai, an Indian citizen who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The stolen software products included about 170,000 access codes for Adobe Systems and Microsoft products, including Windows 7 and Windows XP. Product key codes are used to obtain access to various copyrighted software programmes.