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Men plead guilty to selling fake software

Two Silicon Valley business owners pleaded guilty Monday to trafficking in counterfeit software valued at more than $500,000 and promised to pay Microsoft Corp. more than $380,000 in restitution.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Two Silicon Valley business owners pleaded guilty Monday to trafficking in counterfeit software valued at more than $500,000 and promised to pay Microsoft Corp. more than $380,000 in restitution.

Perry Zheng, 51, of Cupertino, and William Jin, 44, of Sunnyvale, told U.S. District Court Judge Ronald M. Whyte they possessed and sold $531,961 worth of counterfeit Microsoft software. The men sold the programs through PTI Inc., a San Jose-based software distribution business. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)

Each faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a $2 million fine. Whyte will sentence Zheng and Jin a hearing scheduled for June 20.

As part of their plea agreements, the men agreed to forfeit $27,550 that they made from selling counterfeit software to undercover law enforcement officers and pay $387,228 to Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft.

Troubles for Zheng and Jin began in 2002, when police obtained a search warrant and found $116,000 worth of counterfeit products found in a storage locker, triggering a two-year investigation by the FBI, IRS and other agencies.