They say that crime doesn’t pay, except that it does – really, really well, in fact – so long as you don’t get caught. However, the problem is that you pretty much almost always get caught, as was true for Qiang “Michael” Bi of Ohio when a spreadsheet of illegal sales of pirated software sent from his personal email to his work email was intercepted by…of all people…the FBI. From 2005 to 2009, he had apparently sold 35,000 pirated games using more than 50 eBay and PayPal accounts and leading to charges of “mail fraud, copyright infringement and aggravated identity theft.”
According to The Columbus Dispatch, crime will indeed pay, although the check will be going to the FBI’s Cybercrime Task Force. Bi will be lose his home and car, serve a two-year prison sentence and pay more than $367,000 in fines. All of which goes to prove that piracy remains a priority for authorities both local and federal, so be mindful of how and from where you’re getting your digital content, folks.