Two plead to selling counterfeit software on eBay

Two US defendants plead guilty to selling counterfeit software on eBay

Two more defendants have pleaded guilty to charges of criminal copyright infringement for selling counterfeit software with a retail value of nearly US$6 million on eBay, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Robert Koster of Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Yutaka Yamamoto of Pico Rivera, California, both pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, the DOJ said in a news release. The two pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit software from Rockwell Automation.

The two will be sentenced in November, along with four other defendants who pleaded guilty in Milwaukee in April.

Rockwell Automation produces, among other products, specialized factory management software. The majority of the software applications sold by these defendants on eBay had retail prices ranging from about US$900 to US$11,300.

From September 2003 to September 2004, Koster offered counterfeit software in 105 or more online auctions, receiving a profit of more than US$23,000, the DOJ said. The retail value of the software was more than US$5 million.

From December 2003 to August 2004, Yamamoto initiated at least 92 auctions, for a profit of US$6,000, the DOJ said. The retail value of the software was about US$543,000.

Including Monday's pleas, the DOJ has gotten nine convictions involving eBay auctions of counterfeit Rockwell Automation software. In addition to six pleas in Wisconsin, there have been two convictions in the Eastern District of Michigan and another in the Southern District of Indiana. The combined retail value of the counterfeit software in all nine prosecutions is approximately US$30 million, the DOJ said.

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Grant Gross

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