US woman pleads guilty to selling counterfeit software

The Michigan woman faces five years in prison for selling the software through a website

A Michigan woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge related to selling more than US$400,000 worth of counterfeit software on a website, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Jacinda Jones, 31, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of willful copyright infringement in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the DOJ said.

Between July 2008 and January 2010, Jones sold more than 7,000 copies of pirated business software at discounted prices through the website, Cheapdl.com, the DOJ said in a press release. The software, with a retail value of more than $2 million, included pirated versions of products from Microsoft, Adobe, Intuit, Symantec and other vendors, the agency said.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made several undercover purchases of the software, the DOJ said.

Jones faces maximum penalties of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. During her plea hearing, Jones agreed to forfeit any illegal profits and pay restitution to companies. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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Tags copyrightMicrosoftlegalsoftwaresymantecintellectual propertyIntuitU.S. Department of JusticeAdobe SystemsCriminalJacinda JonesU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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