The United States Attorney's Office announced that Perry Zheng, 51, of Cupertino, and William Jin, 44, of Sunnyvale, California, each pleaded guilty today in federal court to trafficking in counterfeit computer software before United States District Court Judge Ronald M. Whyte in San Jose.
The defendants each pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging trafficking in counterfeit computer software products in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2320(a). In pleading guilty, defendants admitted that they possessed and sold approximately $531,961 worth of counterfeit computer software products of Microsoft Corporation as operators of PTI, a San Jose-based software distribution business. That figure includes approximately $27,550 worth of counterfeit products defendants sold to undercover law enforcement officers; $387,000 worth of counterfeit products it sold to other software businesses; and $116,000 worth of counterfeit products found in a storage locker during the execution of a search warrant in 2002.
As part of their plea agreements, defendants agreed to forfeit $27,550 of proceeds from their criminal activities, and to pay $387,228.80 in restitution to Microsoft Corporation.
Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $2 million fine, although the actual sentences will be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. 3553. Sentencing before Judge Whyte is scheduled for June 20, 2005 at 9:00 a.m.
The guilty pleas resulted from the "Operation Cyberstorm," a two-year undercover investigation into software piracy and related crimes conducted by agents from Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and REACT Task Force in San Jose, working with the U.S. Attorney's Office's Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) Unit. Christopher P. Sonderby, Chief of the CHIP Unit, is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the cases.
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office's website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be directed to Christopher P. Sonderby, Chief of the CHIP Unit, at (408) 535-5037, or Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at Luke.Macaulay3@usdoj.gov.
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