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eBay auction fraudster jailed for four years

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An Oregon man who auctioned counterfeit Adobe software on eBay under a variety of false identities has been jailed for four years. Jeremiah Mondello, 23, of Eugene, Oregon, was also sentenced to a further three years on probation following his release and 130 hours of community service a year for three years at a sentencing hearing this week. In addition, Mondello was fined $220,000 in cash and his computers were confiscated by order of US District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken, the Oregonian reports.

Mondello pleaded guilty in May to copyright infringement, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft offences. The fraudster is said to have raked in an estimated $400,000 in illicit auction sales by auctioning pirated software under the guise of more than 40 fictitious eBay and PayPal identities. These bogus identities were established using stolen bank account information.

The prosecution against Mondello was initiated by Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), a US-based trade group, which began investigating Mondello in 2007 before turning the case over to Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security investigators.

In a statement welcoming the verdict in the Mondello case, the SIIA announced a further six lawsuits against alleged traders of illegal software on auction sites, making a total of 32 lawsuits this far this year. The legal offensive is part of the SIIA's efforts to clamp down on auction sites such as eBay as a conduit for the sales of pirated software.

The latest six cases, all filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of Adobe, charge half a dozen suspects with illegally selling software on eBay. The suspects were names as Nathanael S. Landsteiner of Fairmont, Minnesota; John Hoyle and Gail La Fortune of Senoia in Georgia; Gennadiy Barbin, Boise, Idaho; Tamara Irby, Nathalie, Virginia; Trisha Carter of Maggie Grace Designs in Denham Springs, Louisiana; and, Andreh Lee, Elmhurst, New York. ®

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