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Man sentenced for selling pirated software on eBay

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By Del Quentin Wilber
Friday, October 23, 2009

A Falls Church man was sentenced Thursday to more than three years in federal prison for selling more than $1 million in pirated software on eBay.

Gregory W. Fair, 46, pleaded guilty in April to charges of criminal copyright infringement and mail fraud for selling pirated copies of Adobe Systems programs between 2001 and 2007. In addition to sentencing Fair to three years and five months in prison, U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts ordered him to pay Adobe $743,098 in restitution.

Federal prosecutors Marc Miller and Glenn Leon said that Fair's actions were an "assault on the economic health and continued viability of the victim corporations." They said Adobe, a California-based company, last year laid off 600 employees, about 8 percent of its workforce.

Fair used the proceeds of the counterfeit software sales, estimated to be $1.4 million, to buy luxury cars, prosecutors wrote. In his plea deal, Fair agreed to forfeit a BMW, a Hummer, a Mercedes, a 1969 Pontiac GTO and $144,000 in cash seized from a safe deposit box, court records show.

The sales were brought to the attention of federal authorities by Adobe in 2007. Undercover U.S. postal inspectors made several purchases of pirated software from Fair.

When authorities raided Fair's home in March 2008, they found a CD burner and label printer that Fair used to make a "high volume" of counterfeit programs, prosecutors said.


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