Chinese man pleads guilty to $100m software scam

A Chinese man has pleaded guilty to selling over $100 million worth of pirated business software, including products from SAP, Microsoft and Oracle.

Xiang Li, of Chengu province, was arrested last year following an undercover investigation by US agents, who were tipped off by an unnamed software vendor.

His scam worked by finding pirated software on black market web forums and selling it on over the Internet. He stole software from an estimated 200 US manufacturers and sold to 325 black market buyers in 61 countries from 2008 to 2011, according to a Reuters report.  

Li pleaded guilty late Monday in a US court to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright violations and wire fraud.

Through his lawyer, Li told the judge that he disputes the $100 million figure and did not realise the retail value of what he was selling until he was caught and will provide his own estimate during sentencing on 3 May.

"I want to tell the court that what I did was wrong and illegal and I want to say I’m sorry," Li said.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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