MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and MARK J. MERSHON, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) announced that ALEX RODRIGUEZ was sentenced today to 37 months imprisonment for selling and distributing pirated computer software valued at over $1 million.
According to the Indictment to which RODRIGUEZ pled guilty, a previously filed criminal Complaint, and statements RODRIGUEZ made at his guilty plea, RODRIGUEZ operated a stand on East 14th Street in Manhattan from which he sold unauthorized copies of copyrighted computer software throughout 2003 and 2004. In July and August 2004, RODRIGUEZ, operating from this stand, twice sold pirated software to an undercover FBI agent. On one of those occasions, RODRIGUEZ sold an illegal copy of Macromedia Flash MX — a program related to Web site development that normally retails for approximately $500 — to the undercover agent for $30. Additionally, RODRIGUEZ supplied illegal computer software to another individual who operated a stand on East 23rd Street in Manhattan and that individual supplied pirated computer programs to another individual who sold the illegal software over the Internet Web site, Cheap-Student.com, in 2003.
RODRIGUEZ was arrested on or about August 17, 2004 in the course of setting up his stand on 14th street. At the time of RODRIGUEZ’s arrest, FBI agents seized from Rodriguez’s vehicle four large plastic containers and several bags, all full of CDROMs of pirated software. The containers and bags held over 1,000 copies of pirated software worth close to $1 million.
The charges against RODRIGUEZ arose from a two-year, broad reaching investigative effort by the Computer Crimes Squad of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, to combat the trafficking of pirated computer software in the New York area. That effort is part of the Department of Justice’s increased enforcement efforts in the intellectual property arena.
Imposing the sentence in this case, United States District Judge BARBARA S. JONES stated: “It’s clear this is a serious problem that affects any number of people and entities...and deterrence is very important” Judge JONES also imposed an order of restitution in the amount of $970,864 and ordered RODRIGUEZ to forfeit $1.1 million.
Mr. GARCIA praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s Computer Crimes Squad. Mr. GARCIA also thanked the Business Software Alliance and Macromedia, Inc. for their assistance in the investigation of this case.
Mr. GARCIA stated: “This lengthy sentence should serve as a warning to those involved in the manufacture and sale of pirated computer software, as well other forms of criminal copyright infringement. Intellectual property theft is a serious crime that victimizes companies large and small, as well as their employees and shareholders.”
RODRIGUEZ, 27, of Manhattan, was ordered to surrender by Judge JONES to the Bureau of Prisons on January 3, 2006.
Assistant United States Attorney ALEXANDER H. SOUTHWELL is in charge of the prosecution.