Chinese man guilty of USD 100 million software piracy
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said yesterday that it had broken up an international piracy operation run by Li Xiang, 36, of Chengdu in Sichuan, China.
Li was arrested in June 2011 after being lured by undercover buyers from ICE's Homeland Security Investigations division to the Pacific island of Saipan, in the US territory of the Northern Mariana Islands, to deliver pirated software.
Li pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and wire fraud in the US district court in Wilmington, Delaware.
The ICE investigation revealed that Li used the Crack 99 website to distribute pirated or cracked software to customers all over the world, including the United States. Software is "cracked" when its digital license files and access control features have been disabled or circumvented.
According to statements made at the plea hearing and documents filed in court, HSI identified Li as the operator of a website located at www.Crack99.com that was advertising thousands of pirated software titles at a fraction of their retail value.
From April 2008 to June 2011, Li engaged in more than 500 transactions, in which he distributed approximately 550 different copyrighted software titles to at least 325 purchasers located in at least 28 states and more than 60 foreign countries, with more than one-third of the buyers in the United States, including a NASA
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