Chinese resident Xiang Li has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement and wire fraud charges connected to a bootleg software conspiracy that involved federal sector accomplices, U.S. authorities are expected to announce today in Wilmington, Del.
A NASA engineer and government contractor knowingly bought some of the $100 million worth of critical computer programs that Li copied from mainly American companies, according to court papers and officials.
Between April 2008 and June 2011, Li peddled ill-gotten software through the Web to colluding customers, including the U.S. public sector employees, according to court documents filed on Jan. 4. Software that retails for as much as $3 million sold for between $20 and $1,200 on the Internet shopping sites he maintained. The pirated software has uses for, among other things, defense, space exploration and explosive simulation.
See undercover videos of sting operation (courtesy Defense Video & Imagry Distribution System):