• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Three Indicted on Software Piracy Charges

Aug 21, 20072 mins
Build AutomationCSO and CISO

Three Florida men were indicted last week on charges related to selling millions of dollars worth of counterfeit software through several websites, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said.

Maurice A. Robberson, 58; Thomas K. Robberson, 54; and Alton Lee Grooms, 56, all of Lakeland, Fla., were each charged with one count of conspiracy to violate copyright and counterfeiting laws, the DoJ said.

Maurice Robberson was also charged with a substantive count of felony copyright infringement and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, while Thomas Robberson was charged with one substantive felony count of copyright infringement and two counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods.

A colleague of the men, Danny Ferrer, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and copyright infringement charges on June 15, and is serving five years in prison.

The men conspired to sell more than US$5 million in pirated software, according to the indictment from U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The men operated,,,, and from late 2002 to October 2005, and sold counterfeit software from companies such as Adobe Systems, Autodesk and Macromedia at discount prices, the DoJ said.

The men manufactured CDs containing the pirated software, and the products included labels that featured trademarks and service marks of the legitimate software companies, the DoJ said.

After receiving complaints from software copyright holders about, an undercover FBI agent made a number of purchases of business and utility software. Investigators found an “array” of related websites, the DoJ said.

— Grant Gross, IDG News Service (Washington Bureau)