Software counterfeiter gets 41 months in prison, loses Ferrari

Ferrari 348 TB

A US District court judge today chucked a software counterfeiter in prison for 41 months, ordered him to pay $810,257 in restitution as well as give up his Ferrari 348 TB and a Rolex watch - all for operating a $1million software scheme.

Specifically, court documents state that from July 2004 through May 2008, Timothy Dunaway, 24, of Wichita Falls, Texas  ran approximately 40 Web sites that sold a large volume of downloadable counterfeit software without authorization from the copyright owners.

Dunaway admitted he operated computer servers in Vienna, Austria and Malaysia that distributed the software. Agents of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, working in cooperation with foreign law enforcement, seized Dunaway's international computer servers. According to court documents, Dunaway promoted his illicit scheme by buying advertising for his Web sites from major Internet search engines, the Department of Justice said. . Throughout the entire course of the scheme, the defendant processed more than $800,000 dollars through credit card merchant accounts under his control, according to the DOJ.

The case is part of the department's ongoing initiative to combat the sale of pirated software and counterfeit goods through commercial Web sites and online auction sites such as eBay. To date, the department has obtained 33 convictions involving online auction and commercial distribution of counterfeit software. The DOJ's initiative to combat online auction piracy is just one of several ongoing steps to address the losses caused by intellectual property theft and hold responsible those engaged in criminal copyright infringement.

Dunaway was also sentenced to two years of supervised release.

The Dunaway news follows the  high profile indictment of two men on several software counterfeiting related charges for allegedly selling $500,000 of pirated software on eBay and through Web sites.

The indictment, announced last week, was returned by a federal grand jury for U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in November. Christopher Loring Walters, 28, of Newport Beach, California, and Matthew Thomas Purse, 32, of Gilbert, Arizona, were charged with conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, criminal copyright infringement, and trafficking in counterfeit labels, packaging or containers, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix.

Convictions for mail and wire fraud carry a maximum of 20 years in prison, while the other charges carry a maximum of five-year sentences. All the counts carry a maximum US$250,000 fine.

Jail sentences and indictments may at some point help at least put a crimp in the over $200 billion counterfeit and pirated goods industry.

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