Scammers get jail time for Microsoft software scheme

Husband and wife, Mirza Ali, 60, and Sameena Ali, 53, have been sentenced to five years in prison and to over $25 million in fines for their role in a Microsoft software reselling scheme run between 1997 and 2001. Two of the Alis associates were also convicted: Keith Griffen, 56, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and $20 million in fines while William Glushenko, 66, was given one year of probation and 100 hours of community service. The four purchased more than $29 million worth of software at Microsoft's academic-discount rates and then resold it to non-academic entities, making more than $5 million in profits.

Previous to this, the Alis had already been kicked out of Microsoft's Authorized Education Reseller program, but they "formed new corporations ... to disguise their identity from Microsoft and re-enter the AER program," according to the U.S. Department of Justice. They laundered their profits by purchasing real estate in their son's name and by wiring more than $300,000 to Pakistan. The scam was exposed during the course of a two-year undercover investigation called "Operation Cyberstorm," which was conducted by the FBI and the U.S. IRS.

News source: InfoWorld

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