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Bloke flogged $1.2m of pirated Microsoft gear on eBay, say Feds

People scrambled for illicit MS Office 2003 and XP Pro

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A US man has been charged with selling counterfeit Microsoft software valued at more than $1.2m.

Bruce Alan Edward, 48, of Atlanta, Michigan, is accused of five counts of criminal copyright infringement, and one count of mail fraud, over the alleged resale of pirated software sourced from the far East.

According to his charge sheet, Edward unlawfully distributed Microsoft Office 2003 Professional and Microsoft Windows XP Professional by purchasing dodgy copies of the products from China and Singapore, and then sold the software through auctions on eBay.

Edward allegedly made at least $140,000 through selling more than 2,500 copies of Microsoft programs between May 2008 and September 2010 before he was arrested.

If convicted, Edward faces up to 45 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

US prosecutors are seeking a forfeiture order that would allow them to seize any criminal proceeds and "any property used to commit the alleged criminal activity", according to a Department of Justice statement. Edward was brought before the district court of Eastern Michigan on Thursday under an indictment agreed by a grand jury late last month.

Lawyers from the department's computer crime and intellectual property section and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan teamed up to prosecute the case, which was investigated by the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center task force as well as investigators from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of Homeland Security. ®

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