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Piracy Crime Games Your Rights Online

Seller of Counterfeit Video Games Gets 30 Months 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-than-he-could-chew dept.
wiredmikey writes "The FBI reported this week that Qiang 'Michael' Bi, of Powell, Ohio was sentenced to 30 months in prison for selling more than 35,000 illegally copied computer games over the Internet between 2005 and 2009. According to a statement of facts read during Bi's plea hearing, agents executed a search warrant at Bi's house and found multiple CD duplicators and more than 1,000 printed counterfeit CDs. Some of the CDs were still in the duplicator. During their investigation, agents learned that Bi would buy a single copy of a game, illegally duplicate it and sell the copies on eBay.com and Amazon.com. He also set up a website for customers to download the games they bought. Bi accepted payment through eBay and PayPal accounts in his name and in others' names."
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Seller of Counterfeit Video Games Gets 30 Months

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  • by PatPending (953482) on Friday December 31, 2010 @04:56AM (#34720132)
    According to the story in TFS,

    Agents and officers with the FBI Cybercrime Task Force, and U.S. Postal Inspectors are credited with the success of the case.

    Er, no--credit monitoring software at the company he worked for! [dispatch.com]:

    New monitoring software at Nationwide Insurance spelled the beginning of the end for an employee who had been counterfeiting and selling computer games for five years. The software alerted Nationwide officials to a spreadsheet that Qiang "Michael" Bi had sent from his personal e-mail account to his Nationwide e-mail account. The spreadsheet listed eBay accounts, credit-card numbers and false identity information that Bi used in a lucrative counterfeiting scheme.

    The spreadsheet listed more than 50 eBay and PayPal accounts, all with different names. Bi told investigators he used other people's information on the accounts because eBay and PayPal had suspended his accounts and do not allow a new account with the same name and address as a suspended account.

  • Re:Misplaced focus (Score:5, Informative)

    by PatPending (953482) on Friday December 31, 2010 @05:05AM (#34720158)
    Not just 30 months; there's also this:

    Bi also forfeited $367,669 in cash, representing the proceeds of the crimes, as well as his house, a 2006 Lexus SUV and computer and electronic equipment.

  • Re:ICE This Week (Score:2, Informative)

    by unity100 (970058) on Friday December 31, 2010 @05:15AM (#34720200) Homepage Journal
    are you aware that, what you sample above, is not even a tiny dot on a fly that lands on a huge pile of bullcrap, compared to what is happening in usa-mexico drug lane ? are you aware that, the drug cartels just next to your mexican border, are now equipped with SO expensive weapons that, their average equipment level is more than the average equipment of an u.s. army front line soldier ? do you think that is possible with just running a few hidden stashes of drugs to and fro from the border ?
  • by icebike (68054) on Friday December 31, 2010 @05:50AM (#34720336)

    That and the fact he was ratted out by his employer for using company email addresses to move his secret lists of accounts.

    Lets face it, the cops were handed this case on a silver platter.

    Go here.
    Arrest him.
    Confiscate 300K in ill-gotten funds.
    Have a beer.

  • Re:Amazing... (Score:5, Informative)

    by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Friday December 31, 2010 @06:04AM (#34720386) Homepage

    Thomas-Rasset got what she asked for. She was sharing a couple thousands songs in reality, although they only sued over 24 of them. They offered to settle for a few thousand dollars, which is a pretty fair price considering the number she was actually sharing. However, she decided to reject that and go to trial, even though she had not even a remote chance of winning (hell, she couldn't even hope for jury nullification, since it is a civil case and a nullification would just be overturned on appeal). The minimum statutory damage award is $750 per infringed work, or $18000 in this case. If, somehow, the court decided that she was an innocent infringer (basically someone who had no reason to believe they were infringing copyright), that can be cut down to $200 per work, or $4800 in this case. There's pretty much no chance of that, so realistically she was looking at a minimum of $18000.

    So, the best case she was looking at by going to trial was 3-4 times worse than settling, and that depending on the jury feeling sufficiently sympathetic to go as low as they could on the damages. And then she was pretty blatant about lying in court, she tried to blame her kids, and it came out that she tried to destroy evidence. So much for any chance of the jury being sympathetic...

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