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Department of Justice
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Counterfeit Computer Software Worth $1 Million

WASHINGTON – A Virginia man pleaded guilty today to selling counterfeit computer software on eBay in violation of criminal copyright infringement laws, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor for the District of Columbia. According to court documents, the retail value of the software illegally sold was approximately $1 million.

Gregory William Fair, 46, of Falls Church, Va., pleaded guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement and one count of mail fraud before Judge R.W. Roberts in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. According to court documents, from 2001 through February 2008, Fair admitted that he sold a large volume of counterfeit Adobe software on the eBay auction Web site using multiple user IDs. The combined retail value of this software was at least $1 million. Fair agreed to forfeit the proceeds of his unlawful enterprise including: $144,000 in currency seized from a safety deposit box and residence; one BMW 525i; one Hummer H2; one Mercedes CL600; and one 1969 Pontiac GTO.

At sentencing on July 8, 2009, Fair faces up to five years in prison on the criminal copyright infringement count and up to 20 years in prison on the mail fraud count. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release on each charge.

The case is part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing initiative to combat online auction piracy. Including the plea announced today, the Department has obtained 34 convictions involving online auction and commercial distribution of counterfeit software. The Department’s initiative to combat online auction piracy is just one of several steps being undertaken to address the losses caused by intellectual property theft and hold responsible those engaged in criminal copyright infringement.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Washington, D.C. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Marc Miller of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn S. Leon for the District of Columbia.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014