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Consumer Alert: Watch for pirated software being sold on the internet


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - An undercover investigation helped law enforcement catch a man selling pirated copies of Adobe software on eBay.

"He has been perpetrating this fraud for many years," says U.S. Postal Inspector Jan Kostka."The suspect was selling the software at a 20-25% discount."

Postal inspectors began tracking the suspect after thousands of complaints came into Adobe's Anti-Piracy group.

They went undercover, setting up internet profiles on eBay to buy the bogus software and test it for authenticity.

They quickly realized the suspect was making a fortune.

"He went from $0 dollars a month to $42,000 dollars a month and is able to provide a lavish lifestyle," says Kostka.

That lifestyle included luxury cars, such as a high-end Mercedes, BMW and Pontiac GTO. That's not all investigators found.

"We seized 144-thousand dollars in cash, numerous counterfeit boxes of software, high speed CD duplicator."

Investigators say there's one thing they found most troubling about this case.

"The ease with which my suspect was able to take somebody else's brilliance and hard work and turn it into easy profit for himself and an undeserving lifestyle and how long he got away with it."

When buying online, postal inspectors say people should keep in mind a deeply discounted item like software is likely pirated.


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