Texas Man Sentenced to 18 Months for Software Piracy

A Texas man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for selling counterfeit software online.

A Texas man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for selling more than $1 million worth of pirated software via the Internet.

Todd Alan Cook, of Wichita Falls, Texas, was sentenced Oct. 29 and received a fine of $599,771 in addition to the prison time. Cook pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement in March, authorities said, admitting to his role in a scheme that also involved his father, Robert Cook, and another individual.

The elder Cook also pleaded guilty in March, and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 3.

According to authorities, the group operated from July 2006 to May 2008 and sold large volumes of counterfeit software through several Websites they controlled. The group promoted their scheme by purchasing advertising for their sites from major Internet search engines, authorities said.

The case is part of the U.S. Department of Justice's ongoing initiative to combat online commercial counterfeiting and piracy. Including Todd Cook's guilty plea, authorities reported that the department has secured 46 convictions for online auction and commercial distribution of counterfeit software.