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US man pleads guilty to software piracy charges

'Sold more than $270,000 worth of programs'

A US man has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement charges for selling pirated copies of business, engineering and graphic design software online worth more than $270,000 (about £177,000).

Robert Cimino, 59, pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia yesterday, the US Department of Justice said.

Cimino advertised the sale of discounted popular software programs on a variety of internet advertising forums, the DoJ said.

In one advert on Sell.com, Cimino advertised a variety of Autodesk products at prices several thousand dollars below typical commercial prices.

Customers would contact Cimino by email and would typically pay for the products by PayPal, the DOJ said.

Cimino would then send copies of Adobe, Autodesk, Intuit and Quark programs that he had burned to CD or DVD to the customers.

From February 2006 to September 2009, Cimino received at least $270,000 from his sales of infringing software products, he told the court.

Cimino is scheduled to be sentenced by US District Judge Anthony Trenga on May 28. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

See also:  Windows pirates blamed for high malware rates

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