Two men, including one from Gilbert, have been indicted on federal charges involving what is believed to be one of the nation’s largest copyright frauds involving computer software, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The indictment, which was unsealed on Jan. 30, hands down charges of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, criminal copyright infringement and trafficking in counterfeit labels, packaging or containers against Matthew Purse, 32, of Gilbert, and Christopher Walters, 28, of Newport Beach, Calif., according to the office.
The indictment alleges that from September 2004 through February 2006, Walters and Purse created eBay merchant accounts and other commercial Web sites from which they sold and distributed counterfeited software at a greatly discounted price.
Authorities said the scam involved 8,000 victims who lost more than $500,000.
Purse and Walters are accused of representing themselves as authorized distributors of Acronis, Apple, Corel, McAfee, Macromedia and several other software companies, the release stated.
Walters remains a fugitive, and authorities are continuing to search for his whereabouts.