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Intellectual Property Rights

Man sentenced to 36 months for $2.5M in software piracy

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A man from Annandale, Va., was sentenced Friday to 36 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for selling thousands of units of counterfeit, copyright-infringing computer software.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Quynh Trong Nguyen, 37, was also ordered to pay restitution of $2.5 million and a forfeiture money judgment of $1.4 million, which will be partially satisfied by $650,000 in already seized liquid assets.

Nguyen pleaded guilty Aug. 9 to copyright infringement. According to court documents, over a three and a half year period, Nguyen sold $2.5 million in copyright-infringing computer software and defrauded more than 2,000 customers. The software, much of which was shipped from overseas, included popular titles, such as Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office, and Autodesk AutoCAD.

Nguyen sold the software through Internet websites that he operated from his residence in Annandale. In addition to selling counterfeit software, Nguyen falsely represented to suppliers that he was eligible to purchase and resell educational software in connection with George Mason University. Nguyen altered the educational software, which he later sold at higher prices, by painting over labels and modifying the product packaging.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan K. Dickey and Jay V. Prabhu prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.