Scammers get jail time for Microsoft software scheme

A husband-and-wife team have been sentenced to five years in prison for buying Microsoft software at academic discounts and illegally reselling it.

Four people have been sentenced to jail time and tens of millions of dollars in fines for buying discounted Microsoft software and then illegally reselling it at a profit.

Mirza Ali, 60, and Sameena Ali, 53, the husband-and-wife owners of Samtech Research, were sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay more than US$25 million in fines to Microsoft for their role in a software reselling scheme run between 1997 and 2001.

The Alis and their associates purchased more than US$29 million worth of software at Microsoft's academic-discount rates and then resold it to nonacademic entities, making more than US$5 million in profits. The two were convicted on November 28, 2006, and had been awaiting sentencing.

Previous to this, the Alis had already been kicked out of Microsoft's Authorized Education Reseller (AER) program, but they "formed new corporations... to disguise their identity from Microsoft and re-enter the AER program," the U.S. Department of Justice said.

They laundered their profits by purchasing real estate in their son's name and by wiring more than US$300,000 to Pakistan, the DOJ said.

Two of the Alis associates, Keith Griffen, 56, and William Glushenko, 66, were also sentenced in connection with the case. Griffen, a partner in some of the Alis' corporations, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and US$20 million in fines. Glushenko was given one year of probation and 100 hours of community service.

The scam was exposed during the course of a two-year undercover investigation called "Operation Cyberstorm," which was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?