Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 29, 2010
Texas Man Who Was Part of Father and Son Team of Pirated Software Sellers Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

WASHINGTON – Todd Alan Cook, 24, of Wichita Falls, Texas, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III for selling more than $1 million worth of pirated computer software through the Internet, in violation of criminal copyright infringement laws, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia and John Morton, Department of Homeland Security’s Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

 

Cook was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $599,771. Cook pleaded guilty on March 11, 2010, to criminal copyright infringement in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va.

According to court documents, from July 2006 through May 2008, Cook, his father Robert D. Cook and another individual operated several websites that sold large volumes of counterfeit software with a combined retail value of approximately $1 million. Cook admitted that he and his co-conspirators used these websites to sell downloadable counterfeit software without authorization from the copyright owners. Robert Cook pleaded guilty on March 11, 2010, to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Ellis on Dec. 3, 2010.

 

This case is part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing initiative to combat online commercial counterfeiting and piracy. Including Todd Cook’s guilty plea, the department has obtained 46 convictions involving online auction and commercial distribution of counterfeit software.

Today’s sentencing is an example of the type of efforts being undertaken by the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property (IP Task Force). Attorney General Eric Holder created the IP Task Force to combat the growing number of domestic and international intellectual property crimes, protect the health and safety of American consumers, and safeguard the nation’s economic security against those who seek to profit illegally from American creativity, innovation and hard work. The IP Task Force seeks to strengthen intellectual property rights protection through heightened criminal and civil enforcement, greater coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and increased focus on international enforcement efforts, including reinforcing relationships with key foreign partners and U.S. industry leaders. To learn more about the IP Task Force, go to www.justice.gov/dag/iptaskforce/.

 

The cases were prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Marc Miller and Tyler G. Newby of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay V. Prabhu for the Eastern District of Virginia. The cases were investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center with substantial assistance provided by the Office of the Special Agent-in-Charge in Dallas. The Wichita Falls Police Department assisted in the investigation.

10-1229