Defendants Used Multiple Web Sites to Sell Counterfeit Software Worth
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 LawFuel – Legal Announcements — Three defendants pleaded guilty today to selling counterfeit computer software on the Internet in violation of criminal copyright infringement laws, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Matthew Friedrich, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Johnny Sutton and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent-in-Charge in San Antonio Jerry Robinette announced.
Thomas C. Rushing III, 24, of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Brian C. Rue,
29, of Denton, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count each of criminal
copyright infringement before U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks in
Austin, Texas. William Lance Partridge, 24, of Royse City, Texas, pleaded
guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement before U.S.
Magistrate Judge Andrew W. Austin, in Austin. Rushing, Rue and Partridge
each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release. Sentencing for all three defendants is scheduled for Dec. 19, 2008.
Documents filed with the court indicate that between early 2006 and
September 2007, Rushing, Rue and Partridge operated several Web sites that sold a large volume of counterfeit software. The software sold by the
defendants had a combined retail value of $2,500,000. The defendants
admitted using Web sites identified as valuesoftwaresales.com,
allsoftwaredownload.com, esoftwarevalue.com and priceslashsoftware.com to
sell downloadable counterfeit software without authorization from the
copyright owners. The defendants also admitted promoting their scheme by
purchasing advertising for their Web sites from major Internet search
This case is part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing initiative to combat the sale of pirated software and counterfeit goods via commercial
Web sites and online auction sites such as eBay. Including the three pleas secured today, this initiative has obtained 32 felony convictions. The Department’s initiative to combat commercial online piracy is just one of several steps being undertaken to address the losses caused by intellectual property theft and hold responsible those engaged in criminal copyright
The Rushing, Rue and Partridge cases are being prosecuted by Trial
Attorney Marc Miller of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and
Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western
District of Texas Matthew B. Devlin. The cases were investigated by the ICE
Cyber Crimes Center, the Office of the Special Agent-in-Charge in San
Antonio and the Office of the Resident Agent-in-Charge in Austin.