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US man sentenced in Microsoft fraud case

US man sentenced in Microsoft fraud case

A man who used more than 15 aliases and multiple false addresses to steal $500,000 (euro387,560) worth of Microsoft software has been sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for computer fraud.
Between November 1999 and January 2004, federal prosecutors say Darren McWaine, 35, activated more than 179 subscriptions of Microsoft Developer Network Software, Universal Edition. It was used by computer programmers to create products that would work with Microsoft software.
Each of those subscriptions sold for about $2,799 (euro2,170) and had to be renewed annually for an additional fee of about $2,299 (euro1,780). Microsoft sent legitimate users a 15-digit activation number.
McWaine obtained activation numbers while he was employed at a firm that sold the software and then tweaked them to create new and unauthorized codes. He tried different combinations to see if they would work, said Sacramento County Sheriff's Lt. Bob Lozito, operations commander of the Sacramento Valley, California, High-Tech Crimes Task Force.
If they did, he would download the software, then sell it over the Internet.
"He was selling these things online," Lozito said. "He was making these things available to people through the black market. They were being sold at a discount."
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento said McWaine also used a number of aliases, including Darren Macwangwala, David Marsh, Dave Watts and Darren McWayne as he obtained the software.
McWaine, who once lived in the Sacramento suburb of Antelope, California,could have faced up to five years in prison on each of three charges. Two were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea. He was given a lighter sentence because he cooperated with investigators, according to a plea agreement.
He was sentenced Thursday and was ordered to repay Microsoft for its $500,000 (euro387,560) in losses as part of his sentence.


Updated : 2021-04-17 07:35 GMT+08:00