Piracy: A Not-So-Victimless Crime

5:47 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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Undated -- Even seemingly victimless crimes have victims. That's the take away from this story. The conman involved lived up the high life until postal inspectors eventually caught up with him.

US Postal Inspector Jan Kostka, said "He has been perpetrating this fraud for many years." They say he sold pirated copies of the multimedia Adobe software on Ebay at a 20-25% discount.

Postal inspectors began tracking him after getting thousands of complaints from Adobe's anti-piracy group. Inspectors went undercover, setting up internet profiles on Ebay to buy the bogus software and test it for authenticity. The realized the suspect was making a fortune when his income went from nothing to $42,000 a month.

When they arrested him, they inspectors seized $144,000 cash, numerous counterfeit boxes of software, and a high-speed CD duplicator.

Kostka said what they found most troubling was, "The ease with which my suspect was able to take somebody else's brilliance and hard work and turn it into easy profit for himself and an undeserving lifestyle and how long he got away with it."

Postal inspectors say that's what consumers should keep in mind when they consider buying a deeply discounted item that is likely pirated. While it might benefit the consumer, and the conman, someone else is being harmed.

WFMY News 2/Consumer Alerts

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