Virginia man to serve prison term for selling counterfeit software

A 46-year-old Virginia man has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for selling counterfeit software on eBay, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Gregory William Fair, of Falls Church, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition to the prison term, Judge R.W. Roberts ordered Fair to pay $743,098 in restitution.

Fair also forfeited $144,000 seized from a safety deposit box and residence, a BMW 525i, a Hummer H2, a Mercedes CL600 and a 1969 Pontiac GTO. All the cars were purchased using funds from his counterfeit software operation, the DOJ said.

Fair pleaded guilty April 16 to one count of criminal copyright infringement and one count of mail fraud for selling pirated business software. The software Fair sold between 2001 and 2007 had a combined retail value of more than $1 million, the DOJ said.

During his plea, Fair said he used a variety of eBay user IDs to sell counterfeit software.

The case is part of the DOJ's effort to combat the sale of pirated software and counterfeit goods through commercial Web sites and online auction sites. The DOJ has obtained 39 convictions involving online auction and commercial distribution of counterfeit software.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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