A Michigan man is now facing charges he sold counterfeit Microsoft software valued at more than $1.2 million.
Bruce Alan Edward, 48, of Atlanta, MI, faces five counts of criminal copyright infringement, and one count of mail fraud, for reselling pirated software sourced from Asia.
According to his charge sheet, Edward unlawfully distributed Microsoft Office 2003 Professional and Microsoft Windows XP Professional by purchasing copies of the products from China and Singapore, and then sold the software through auctions on eBay.
Edward made at least $140,000 by selling more than 2,500 copies of Microsoft programs between May 2008 and September 2010, police said.
If convicted, Edward faces up to 45 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.
Prosecutors are seeking a forfeiture order that would allow them to seize any criminal proceeds and “any property used to commit the alleged criminal activity”, according to a Department of Justice (DoJ) release.
Edward ended up arraigned in federal district court of Eastern Michigan Thursday under an indictment handed up by the grand jury late last month.
Lawyers from the department’s computer crime and intellectual property section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan teamed up to prosecute the case.
The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center task force as well as investigators from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of Homeland Security investigated the case.