Products from Microsoft (News - Alert) – maker of Office 365 – and numerous other software titles were illegally reproduced by a Baltimore man. He illegally distributed over 1,000 copyrighted commercial software programs, according to Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
The illegal software was estimated to be valued at over $4 million, according to a statement from Rosenstein’s office.
Naveed Sheikh, 32, entered a guilty plea this week in federal court to conspiracy and infringing copyrights.Between February 2003 and June 2008, Sheikh made several websites to sell the illegal software.
The illegal software included: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Money 2006 Small Business, Adobe (News - Alert) Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects Pro 7.0, Veritas NetBackUp Pro 5.1, Solid Works Office 2000 Premium, Quicken Premier Home and Business 2006 and Apple (News - Alert) Mac OSX Panther 10.3 and Microsoft Windows XP Professional with SP2.
Consumers were told that the software was not legal and could not be registered with the companies. Sheikh also told customers the software was “cracked," according to federal officials.
The websites were hosted in Scranton, Penn., and in his home in Bel Air, MD.Sheikh accepted money orders, credit cards and electronic fund transfers from consumers.
In addition, Sheikh did not report income from the business on his tax returns, authorities claim.He also used Western Union (News - Alert) to send money to such foreign countries as Pakistan.
Under the plea agreement, Sheikh will provide $4 million in restitution. His maximum sentence is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy and for each count of copyright infringement. He will be sentenced on Feb. 19, 2013.
He was detained on Jan. 31, 2012, at Dulles Airport in Virginia. Upon his re-entry to the United States, he had in his possession evidence that implicated him and co-conspirators, according to Forbes. He had been in Pakistan before his arrest, LoanSafe added.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein