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Rip-Off Alert: Victims many in pirated software scheme

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 3/06/2013 6:26 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- A con man lived the high life until postal inspectors eventually caught up with him. He had been selling pirated copies of the multimedia Adobe software on eBay.

"He has been perpetrating this fraud for many years," said U.S. Postal Inspector Jan Kostka. "The suspect was selling the software at 20 to 25 percent discount."

Postal inspectors began tracking the suspect after thousands of complaints came into Adobe's anti-piracy group.

They went undercover -- setting up Internet profiles on eBay to buy the bogus software and test it for authenticity.

They quickly realized the suspect was making a fortune.

"He went from zero dollars a month to $42,000 a month and was able to provide a lavish lifestyle" that included such luxury cars as a high-end Mercedes, BMW and Pontiac GTO.

"We seized $144,000 in cash, numerous counterfeit boxes of software, high speed CD duplicator," Kostka said. "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 them and the con man, someone else is being harmed.
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