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Intellectual Property Rights

Oregon man pleads guilty to selling counterfeit software worth $1 million

WASHINGTON - An Oregon man pleaded guilty today to selling counterfeit computer software with a retail value of more than $1 million, in addition to aggravated identity theft and mail fraud, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Alice S. Fisher and Karin J. Immergut, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Jeremiah Joseph Mondello, 23, of Eugene, Ore., pleaded guilty to one count each of criminal copyright infringement, aggravated identity theft and mail fraud before U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken in Eugene. Mondello faces up to 27 years in prison, a maximum fine of $500,000 and three years of supervised release. Sentencing has been set for July 23, 2008.

According to documents filed in court, between December 2005 and October 2007, Mondello initiated thousands of separate online auctions, using more than 40 fictitious usernames and online payment accounts to sell copies of counterfeit software and receive the illicit money from those sales. Mondello generated more than $400,000 in personal profit as a result of the sales.

In addition, Mondello admitted to stealing individuals' identifying information to establish online payment accounts in their names. Mondello acquired victims' names, bank account numbers and passwords by using a computer keystroke logger program to surreptitiously obtain this information. The keystroke logger program installed itself on the victim's computer and then recorded the victim's name and bank account information as the information was being typed. The program then electronically sent the information back to Mondello, and he used this stolen information to establish the online payment accounts.

Including today's plea, the Department of Justice has secured 29 convictions involving online auction and commercial distribution of counterfeit software.

Mondello's case was investigated by ICE's Cyber Crimes Center and offices in Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Medford, Ore. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Marc Miller of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Sean B. Hoar, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. The Software and Information Industry Association, a trade association that represents leading computer software companies, provided significant assistance to the investigation.