Chuck Rosenberg, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Paul I. Perez, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, announced today that Deborah Lee Ferrera, age 40, of Tampa, Florida, waived formal Indictment and pled guilty today before the Honorable Elizabeth A. Jenkins, United States Magistrate Judge in the Middle District of Florida, to a single count Information charging her with criminal copyright infringement in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2319(b)(1) and 17 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1). Ferrera was charged by information in the Eastern District of Virginia on March 7, 2006, and the case was transferred to the Middle District of Florida for the entry of her guilty plea and ultimate sentencing. Ferrera could receive a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Deborah Lee Ferrera used her personal computer and the Internet to solicit individuals via e-mail for the purpose of offering for sale pirated copies of business software. Among the titles available were programs produced by Adobe, Autodesk, Macromedia, and Microsoft. Evidence obtained through this investigation revealed that thousands of pirated software programs were sold to individuals from around the country. As part of the plea agreement, Ferrera agreed that she illegally reproduced and distributed copyrighted software valued at between $30,000 and $70,000 over a six-month period of time.
This case was investigated by the Washington Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by: Donald Hansen, Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida; Jay Prabhu, Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and, Clement J. McGovern, Senior Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.