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Intellectual Property Rights
08/15/2011

Michigan woman sentenced to 2 years in prison for selling more than $400,000 in counterfeit business software

Investigation led by the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center)

WASHINGTON – A Michigan woman was sentenced today to two years in prison for selling more than $400,000 worth of counterfeit computer software after an extensive investigation by IPR Center in Washington.

Jacinda Jones, 31, of Ypsilanti, Mich., was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following her prison term and to pay $441,035 in restitution. Jones pleaded guilty on April 20, 2011, to one count of criminal copyright infringement.

According to court documents, Jones grossed more than $400,000 between July 2008 and January 2010 by selling more than 7,000 copies of pirated business software at discounted prices through the website cheapdl.com. The software had a retail value of more than $2 million and was owned by several companies, including Microsoft, Adobe, Intuit and Symantec.

Jones' activities came to the attention of special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), who made several undercover purchases of the pirated business and utility software.

"American business is under assault from counterfeiters," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton. "These counterfeits represent a triple threat by delivering shoddy and sometimes dangerous goods into commerce, by funding organized criminal activities, and by denying Americans good-paying jobs. HSI and our partners at the IPR Center will continue to work together to keep counterfeit products off our streets."

The investigation was conducted by the HSI-led IPR Center and the HSI office in Detroit. This IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. As a task force, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 19 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions, and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

Today's guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer and U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuad, Eastern District of Michigan. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg, Eastern District of Michigan, and Trial Attorney Thomas Dougherty of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.