Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Counterfeit Software

A Virginia man has pleaded guilty to charges related to selling counterfeit software with a retail value of about US$1 million on eBay, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Gregory William Fair, 46, of Falls Church, Virginia, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of criminal copyright infringement and one count of mail fraud in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Between 2001 and February 2008, Fair sold a "large volume" of counterfeit Adobe Systems software on eBay using multiple user IDs, the DOJ said in a news release. Fair has agreed to forfeit the proceeds of the software sales, including $144,000 seized from a safety deposit box and residence; one BMW 525i; one Hummer H2; one Mercedes CL600; and one 1969 Pontiac GTO, the agency said.

Fair is scheduled to be sentenced July 8. He faces up to five years in prison on the criminal copyright infringement count and up to 20 years in prison on the mail fraud count. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 on each charge.

The case is part of an ongoing initiative at the DOJ to combat online auction piracy. Including the Fair plea announced, the DOJ has obtained 34 convictions involving online auction and commercial distribution of counterfeit software.

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