German Sentenced to 5 1/2 Years for Microsoft Fraud

A German man was jailed for five and a half years Thursday for repackaging cheap versions of Microsoft Corp. software and selling them on at a higher price.

Ralph Blasek, a software dealer from Willich, near Bochum in western Germany, was found guilty of repackaging more than 32,000 copies of software products meant for schools and colleges, a Bochum court spokesman said.

He sold them on through his firm, Dino-Soft, defrauding the world's No. 1 software maker of some 4.5 million euros ($5.53 million), the spokesman said.

Prosecutors had demanded a prison term of six years.

Blasek, a father of three, lived a luxurious lifestyle, owning properties around the world as well as Rolls Royce and Bugatti cars, the spokesman said.

Microsoft, which helped the German authorities during the investigation and 10-week trial, said in a statement Blasek was the suspected leader of Europe's largest known software counterfeiting network.

News source: Reuters

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