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Man indicted on software piracy charges

Dealing in fake certificates of 'authenticity'

A 25-year-old US man has been indicted on four charges of trafficking unauthorised software-authenticity certificates, the US DoJ (Department of Justice) announced yesterday.

Justin E Harrison, indicted by a federal grand jury in Georgia, was scheduled to make an initial appearance and arraignment on Monday in US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Harrison is accused of dealing in unauthorised computer software and certificates of authenticity intended to be used with the Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000 Professional operating system software, the DoJ said.

The indictment charges four counts of trafficking in illicit labels. The charges each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 (about £136,000). The indictment seeks to have Harrison forfeit proceeds from the alleged crimes, including $226,257 (£122,900), 25 pairs of diamond earrings, 88 watches and six cameras.

The case is the first prosecution under the Intellectual Property Protection and Courts Amendments Act, which passed the US Congress in late 2004, the DoJ said. Among other things, that law makes it illegal to traffic in illicit software certificates and other labels.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by US Attorney David E Nahmias of the Northern District of Georgia.

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