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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arrest by eCrime Unit of Man Selling Pirated Software Online

Monday, July 16, 2012
Contact: (415) 703-5837

SANTA CRUZ -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that bail has been set at $50,000 in the case of Michael Anthony Gomez, Jr., 55, of Capitola, who was charged in Santa Cruz Superior Court with five charges of selling pirated software.

“Illegally selling pirated software rips off both consumers and developers of the programs, and undermines the strong technology-based segment of California’s economy,” said Attorney General Harris. “Criminals are moving their crimes online, and law enforcement must embrace innovation to counter this emerging threat.”

Gomez is alleged to have used Craigslist to sell illegally pirated versions of software programs, including Final Cut Studio III, Microsoft Office for Mac, Rosetta Stone Spanish and Mandarin, AutoDesk Revit and Filemaker 12.  These products retail for up to thousands of dollars, but he sold them for substantially less than the suggested retail prices.

The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s eCrime Unit and was investigated by the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force (NC3TF). The task force has its main office in Napa County and is one of five inter-agency Computer Crimes Task Forces in California. eCrime Unit prosecutors are assigned to all five task forces.

In April 2012, Gomez was contacted by an investigator with the NC3TF, who observed a post on Craigslist that offered for sale a copy of the program AutoDesk Revit.  On or about April 10, Gomez agreed to sell a 2013 version of the program for $50. Its suggested retail price is $5,000.

Gomez mailed the investigator a DVD containing a version of the program, but it would not load.  Gomez later provided the investigator with a software patch to ensure the program would function.  Properties embedded in the program indicated it was a copy downloaded from the Internet and then burned onto the DVD.

Gomez was charged with Counterfeit of a Registered Trademark Penal Code section 350(a) (2), a felony, as well as four counts of Counterfeit of a Registered Trademark.  He pled not guilty to all charges.  Gomez was arrested on July 10 and a preliminary hearing on the charges is set for July 23.

Gomez is on probation for a 2010 conviction of previously selling pirated software.

This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Johnette Jauron of the eCrime Unit.  Attorney General Harris created the eCrime Unit in 2011 to identify and prosecute identity theft crimes, cyber crimes and other crimes involving the use of technology. More information available here: http://oag.ca.gov/cybersafety.

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