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