Three Texas men have been sentenced to prison terms for their role in selling counterfeit software worth US$2.5 million, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Thomas Rushing III, 24, of Wichita Falls, Texas; Brian Rue, 29, of Denton, Texas; and William Lance Partridge, 24, of Royse City, Texas, were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on criminal copyright violations. The three were accused of operating Web sites including Valuesoftwaresales.com and Allsoftwaredownload.com to sell pirated software, the DOJ said in a news release.
Rushing was sentenced to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He was also ordered by Judge Sam Sparks to give up a Porsche Cayenne and approximately $40,000 seized from bank accounts he controlled.
Rue and Partridge were each sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and fines of $3,600. In addition to the prison terms, Rue was ordered by the court to forfeit approximately $17,000 seized from a bank account he controlled, and Partridge was ordered to forfeit a 46-inch HDTV purchased with funds generated by the illegally operation.
The judge also ordered the trio to turn over the domains of four Web sites.
All three men pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement on Aug. 22.
Court documents accused the three men of operating Web sites offering pirated software for download from early 2006 to September 2007, the DOJ said. The three men promoted their business by purchasing advertising from major Internet search engines. They processed more than $1.2 million in orders during their time in business, the DOJ said.