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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 11, 2017

Orlando Man And Woman Plead Guilty To Copyright Infringement Of Microsoft Products And Conspiracy To Commit Wire Fraud

Orlando, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that Robert F. Stout (51) and Kasey N. Riley, a/k/a Kasey Stout (33), both of Windermere, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and copyright infringement relating to the sale of illegal activation keys for Microsoft products. If convicted on all counts, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The defendants have also been notified that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $1,480,227, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.

 

According to court documents, Stout and Riley advertised Microsoft software products for sale online, using a variety of sham business names. They purchased unauthorized activation keys from various websites and provided them, in exchange for PayPal payments, to at least 13,000 customers throughout the United States. They received at least $1.4 million from customers in exchange for providing them with the unauthorized, and often invalid, activation keys. Even after receiving customer complaints that specific activation keys were not functioning properly, Stout and Riley continued to sell them. For example, between September 2013 and June 2014, Stout and Riley sold one specific activation key approximately 880 times.

 

The Better Business Bureau received at least 140 complaints from customers who purchased the unauthorized software from the sham businesses. Over the course of two years, Stout and Riley also received – and ignored at least four warnings to stop from Microsoft.

 

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Christina R. Downes, on assignment from the Office of Principal Legal Advisor, ICE, in the Middle District of Florida, and Assistant United States Attorney Wayne A. Myers from the Northern District of New York.

 

Topic(s): 
Consumer Protection
Financial Fraud
StopFraud
Component(s): 
Updated August 14, 2017